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A. Dean and Jean M. Larsen 
Yellowstone Park Collection 


F 595 .P85 1899b 


3 1197 22842 3742 



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The "Grizzly Giant," Mariposa Grove, Yosemite. Circumference at the ground, 91 feet; 
eleven feet ahove base, 64 feet 3 inches. 


Impressions of America 



M.A., Oxon; Late Scholar of Exeter College^ Oxford; Fellow of the Chemical Society ; 
of the Royal Astronomical Society ; and of the Physical Society of London 





OW this book came to be written, 
and the objects of the writer in 
publishing it, will be found at the 
end of the narrative itself : the 
author feels, however, that a few 
words on the subject of the illus- 
trations, and more especially on the particular 
way in which the original photographs have been 
reproduced, are rendered almost necessary by the 
fact that many people scarcely understand the use 
of stereoscopic views, and very few indeed are 
aware that to use the pictures, no instrument 
besides the two eyes is absolutely necessary. 
First, then, as to the object of the pair of views 
which constitute each plate. A first sight these 
look exactly alike, but they are not so. Since the 
two eyes of a person looking at a view of any 
description are about three inches apart, he sees 
it differently with each eye : each eye has, in 
fact, its own point of view. How is it then, he 
may ask, that he is not conscious of the two 

different views ? The answer 






brain the two pictures are blended into one, — 
how, no one knows, — and the brain recognises 
the differences in the two pictures as what is 
called " relief" in the different objects it sees: 
they "stand out" solid, separate, and distinct from 
one another, in a degree unattainable by the use 
of one eye only : using both, we see them in 
"stereoscopic relief." 

To return to the illustrations in this book. 
The left-hand picture of every pair represents the 
particular view as seen by the left eye, and the 
other, the same view as seen by the right eye at 
the same time ; and we have only to devise some 
means of seeing each view with the proper eye, 
and that eye only, to cause the observer to see 
the photographic representation of the view in 
all the original's "relief." It will no longer look 
flat, but the different distances of objects stretch- 
ing away, one after another, into the distance, 
will be as clearly visible as they were to the 
author when he was taking the photograph. The 
result is that the picture becomes so much more 
" real " and intelligible, that the writer thinks 
it worth a considerable amount of trouble to 
acquire the power of seeing the views stereo- 
scopically either by means of a stereoscope, such 
as is supplied with this book, or, — though in 
most cases it demands some little perseverance, 
— by the method to be presently described which 
needs no instrument, and which, when once learnt, 
cannot be forgotten and is perfectly easy. 

To learn how to see the views in this book 
in stereoscopic relief without using a stereo- 
scope : — 


(i) Hold up the forefinger of your right hand 
in front of your nose, and about a foot away from 
it : fix the eyes, not on the finger, but on some 
object in front of you, but much further off ; and 
while looking at the distant object, fix your atten- 
tion on the finger, and close first one eye, and 
then the other, noting how the finger seems to 
change its position. Repeat this two or three times, 
and then open both eyes, still looking at the 
distant object, and still keeping your attention 
fixed upon the finger : you will now see two 
fingers, one of them being caused by the right 
eye, the other by the left : moreover, if you move 
the forefinger nearer to your nose, you will notice 
its two images move further apart, and, of course, 
if you move your forefinger further away from 
your nose, its two images will move nearer 
together. You must make quite certain of this 
step before going on to the next. 

(2) Make a letter V with the fore and second 
fingers of the right hand, and hold them up as 
before, only rather further from your nose; go 
through exactly the same performances as in (1) : 
this time you will find that with both eyes open 
there are two images of the V seen, which 
together form a W, and if you consider the 
two middle strokes of this W, it will be evident 
that the left stroke is the image of the forefinger 
formed by the right eye, whilst the right stroke 
is the image of the second finger formed by the 
left eye : shutting first one eye and then the 
other will convince you at once of this. The 
important fact so far as we are concerned is, 
that these two images overlap, so that if we can 


perform the same operations with two stereo- 
scopic views instead of the two fingers, we can 
see two images of the views on the outside, cor- 
responding to the two outer strokes of the W, 
here described ; and between them two over- 
lapping views, corresponding to the two inner 
strokes of the W, one of which overlapping views 
is the image of the scene as viewed by the right 
eye when the photograph was taken, and the 
other is that of the same scene as viewed by the 
left eye : if, then, we can bring these two images 
into as exact coincidence as possible, we shall see 
the view in stereoscopic relief. 

Turn back now to(i), i.e. the experiment with 
the forefinger alone, and keeping the attention 
fixed on the finger, look first at some object not 
very far behind the finger (i.e. on the side of it 
away from the eye), and then at some object 
much further off: you will notice that the further 
off is the object at which you look, the greater is 
the distance between the two images of the finger, 
so that by looking at an object a suitable distance 
away, the two images of the forefinger may be 
made to move as far apart as we wish, within 
certain limits. It is in this way that we can bring 
the two stereoscopic pictures into coincidence, and 
although it is impossible to avoid a somewhat 
tedious description of this method, in practice it 
is quite easy, especially after a person has once 

(3) Look then at some distant object, and 
keeping the gaze fixed on it, move up into the 
position formerly occupied by the forefinger, the 
blank paper (Fig. A) with the dot in the middle : 

Fig. A. 


just as before you saw two fingers, you will now 
see two dots. Of course as the paper is not 
transparent, it will hide the distant object from 
view, but a very little practice will enable you to 
keep the eyes exactly as they were when the 
distant object was in sight. Now do the same 
with Fig. B, with the two dots, and by a few trials 
choose the distant object at such a distance that 
the middle two images of the dots coincide : do 
exactly the same with Fig. C, looking first at the 
dots as you did last time, and when you have got 
the two middle images of the dots to coincide, 
transfer the attention to the cube above them, 


Lastly, take any of the stereoscopic plates — one 
with considerable contrast will probably prove 
easiest — and do exactly the same with it : the 
middle image of the three visible will be in 
stereoscopic relief, and the reader will probably 
think the result well worth the trouble he has 
taken. If he is still unsuccessful, he should make 
two dots with ink directly beneath the two repre- 
sentations of the same object in one of the pairs 
of views, and proceed exactly as in the case of 
the dots and cubes illustration. In the writer's 
opinion, if his eyes are not very abnormal, he 
cannot fail to succeed. 

The two views should be held in a good light, 
and should be as equally illuminated as possible : 
the nearer the two dots or stereoscopic views are 
to each other, the easier it is to make the required 
coincidence ; and if the reader finds himself 

Fig. B 


unable at first to bring about the coincidence of 
the two middle dots in the foregoing illustrations, 
he had better draw for himself two dots on a half 
sheet of notepaper, rather nearer together than 
those in the book, and try with these first, and 
then with others, a little further apart, until he 
can manage without difficulty those in the book. 
Some people will take much longer than others 
to acquire the power ; and it will be easiest for 
those whose eyes are by nature rather far apart : 
the wider the space between corresponding 
objects in the pair of stereoscopic pictures, the 
more difficult will they be, but in practice it 
appears that all the illustrations in this book can 
be viewed stereoscopically by the unaided eyes 
without difficulty, though some are a little harder 
than others. 

If the stereoscope supplied is used, owing 
to the magnification given by all such instru- 
ments, the " grain" of the reproduced photograph 
becomes visible, which, of course, is to be re- 
gretted : in apology, the writer need only say 
that the very finest dotted screens have been 
employed of which the "half-tone" process is at 
present susceptible, and that any other process 
would have made the book very much more 
expensive. He feels, too, that the granularity, 
visible though it be, will not seriously interfere 
with the enjoyment he hopes this particular way 
of viewing the illustrations may give to his 

Those who already possess stereoscopes which 
cannot be well used for illustrations bound within 
covers, can easily cut the pictures out of the book, 




and look at them with their instrument as they 
generally do. 

The writer would like to add that the only 
book he has met with containing stereoscopic 
plates is one on the peak of Tenerife, by Pro- 
fessor Piazzi Smythe. At the time this was 
published, however, no form of stereoscope could 
be made sufficiently cheap and portable to accom- 
pany the little book ; had it been otherwise, no 
doubt the Astronomer Royal for Scotland would 
have adopted much the same course as the writer, 
who hopes that his effort to popularise this long- 
neglected instrument may not prove wholly un- 
successful. He would also take this opportunity 
of pointing out that those who possess magic 
lanterns can easily view their slides in stereoscopic 
relief on the screen, and therefore life size, if 
they wish, by printing the two views from the 
stereoscopic " negative " on one lantern plate 
(generally by reduction in the reducing camera), 
projecting the two views on the screen, so that 
the right eye's view is on the left, looking at 
the screen, and the left eye's view on the right, 
and then regarding them from a distance with the 
lines of sight of the two eyes crossed so that each 
eye sees its proper picture. The eyes can be 
made to converge to the right degree without 
effort, by looking at a finger, held about a foot 
from the nose, whilst the attention is fixed upon 
the views on the screen. Most people, in the 
writer's experience, are successful after very few 
trials, and are astonished at the result. The 
screen itself disappears, and the observer, if the 
picture before him be a landscape, sees it stretch- 



ing away into the distance, the different objects 
in it looking so real that, did he not know them 
to be mere shadows, he would not doubt that 
he could walk into the scene, and further convince 
himself of their reality by touching them. 




Liverpool to New York — Railway travelling — The Hudson 
river — Niagara by day — The Whirlpool rapids — Sulphur 
Spring — The Falls by sunset, and by moonlight . . i 


To Yellowstone Park by Chicago and St. Paul — Remarkable 
clouds — Desert scenery — A storm — The "bad land" of 
North Dakota — The Prairie — Cinnabar — The Devil's 
Dyke — Mammoth Springs — The Terraces — Tameness of 
the wild animals — A " hold up " — The Norris Geyser 
Basin — A luckless Chinee — Black Growler — Crater 
geyser — The Upper Basin — Eruption of the " Little 
Fountain" — A victim — Feeding the wild bears — The 
Upper Basin — Morning Glory — Another victim — Ex- 
celsior geyser — Grotto, Splendid, and Giant geysers — 
Old Faithful — Grand eruptions— The Castle, Lion and 
Cubs, and Riverside geysers — Fire-hole Lake and its 
mysterious flames — The Great Fountain — Narrow escape 
— Thunderstorm and eruption of the Little Fountain — 
Wonderful colours of a pool — Uncanny spiders — The 
Mammoth Paint-pots — Stalking the bears — Snap shots — 
The Timber Wolf — A smoking plain — The Lone Star 
geyser — Twisted tree trunks 24 


Yellowstone Lake — The Captain disagrees with the Pro- 
fessors — Antelope — Buffalo — Pelicans — The cubs — Mud 
volcano — Approach to the Grand Canon of the Yellow- 
stone — The Upper Fall — First impressions — Look-out 



Point — Eagles — Marvellous colouring — Sunset in the 
Canon — Virginia cascade — N orris Basin again — Beaver 
Lodge — Dams — We leave the Park —Calif ornia — The 
Shasta route — Forest fires " • 75 


San Francisco — Cliff House — Seal rocks — Raymond — The 
drive to Yosemite — Mines — The forests — Rough roads — 
First view of the Valley — Inspiration Point — Yosemite 
and the Norwegian Naerodal compared — The Bridal 
Veil and Yosemite Falls — Cathedral spires — El Capitan 
— Sentinel Hotel — Magnificent scenery — Happy Island — 
Ascent of Clouds' Rest — View from the summit — The 
Sierra — Mirror Lake — A lovely sunrise — Glacier Point 
trail— The High Sierra — An unwelcome visitor — Echoes 
— The Mariposa grove of big trees — Back to Raymond 
— An unfortunate pig — The Road-runner — A rude 
awakening — San Francisco again 108 


China Town — Opium smoking — A remarkable cat — A joss 
house — The theatre — A long play — Chinese music — 
Shopping 143 


Snow sheds — Across the Desert to Salt Lake City — Mor- 
monism — Brigham Young — The water of the Salt Lake 
— Disagreeable effects — Colorado — Glenwood Springs — 
The Royal Gorge — A lava stream — Colorado Springs — 
The Garden of the Gods — Manitou — Pike's Peak — Night 
on the Peak — A clear morning — Ute Pass and Cascade 
Canon — Labour Day 151 


Monument Park— Earth pillars— The Seven Lakes — An im- 
promptu camp— Cheyenne Canons— The Seven Falls— 
The Kinematoscope 171 


Williams' Canon — Manitou Grand Cavern — The Organ 
— Across the Prairie — A hot journey — Kansas City — 
Crossing the Mississippi — Washington — Jersey City — 
Reflections — Tarry Town — A quiet evening — The Statue 
of Liberty — Farewell to America 195 




I. The Gulf Stream : Is it Periodic? .... 211 

II. On the Ixcrease in the Apparent Breadth of the 
American Fall, due to the lines of falling 
foam 220 

III. Mirage 224 

IV. Some Observations on Temperature, made at the 

Base of the Canadian Fall .... 226 

V. Photographic Methods 227 

VI. Geysers: A New Theory 228 

VII. Physiological Observations on the Summit of 

Pike's Peak 241 



The " Grizzly Giant," Mariposa Grove, Yosemite . Frontispiece 
Plates A, B, C . . . . . . Preface 

Whales Spouting ...... 3 

The Gulf Stream ...... 4 

Mirage on the Gulf Stream .... 5 

Horse-Shoe Fall, Niagara, from Clifton House (Plate I.) . 7 
American Fall, Niagara, from the Suspension Bridge 

(Plate II.) 11 

The Brink of the Horse-Shoe Fall, Niagara, from Goat 

Island (Plate III.) 15 

Part of the Whirlpool Rapids in the Gorge below Niagara 

Falls (Plate IV.) 19 

The " Bad Lands" of Dakota and Thunder-clouds (Plate V.) 27 
The " Little Fountain " Geyser in Eruption, evening light 

(Plate VI.) 35 

Eruption of " Old Faithful," Upper Geyser Basin, Yellow- 
stone Park (Plate VII.) . . . -39 

Eruption of " Old Faithful," from the West (Plate VIII.) 43 
Geyserite (Siliceous) Terraces, with pools of hot water, on 

the S.W. slope of the cone of " Old Faithful " (Plate IX.) 45 

Eruption of " Old Faithful," from the East (Plate X.) . 49 

The Grotto Geyser, Upper Basin, Yellowstone Park (Plate XI .) 51 

The Throat of the " Great Fountain " Geyser (Plate XII.) . 55 

Mud Caldron, " The Mammoth Paint-pot " (Plate XIII.) 59 

Part of the Crater of the Mud Caldron (Plate XIV.) . . 61 

Black Bear (Plate XV.) ..... 65 
Spiral Cracks on the Pine . . . . .67 



Cone of the " Lone Star " Geyser (Plate XVI.) . . 69 

Eruption of the " Lone Star" Geyser (Plate XVII.) . . 71 

Crater of the Mud Volcano, Hayden Valley (Plate XVIII.) 79 
The Brink of the Lower Fall of the Yellowstone River 

(Plate XIX.) 83 

The Lower Fall of the Yellowstone River (Plate XX.) 85 

The Yellowstone Canon (Plate XXI.) . . 89 
The first few feet of the Lower Fall of the Yellowstone 

River (Plate XXII.) ... .91 

Dams made by Beavers across Beaver Lake (Plate XXIII.) . 95 

Pulpit Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs (Plate XXIV.) . 97 
Minerva Terrace (Plate XXV.) . . . . .101 

Minerva Terrace from the East (Plate XXVI.) . . 103 

Yosemite Valley from Inspiration Point (Plate XXVII.) . 109 

The Naerodal, Norway (Plate XXVIII.) . . . 113 
The Yosemite Valley from the Summit of Cloud's Rest 

(Plate XXIX.) 121 

Mirror Lake (Plate XXX.) . . . . .125 

The Half Dome, Cloud's Rest, and Tenieya Canon, Yosemite 

(Plate XXXI.) 129 

The Sierra from Glacier Point (Plate XXXII.) . . 133 

Through the big tree " Wawona" (Plate XXXIII.) . . 137 

Big Trees in the Mariposa Grove, Yosemite (Plate XXXIV.) 139 
The Great Salt Lake Desert (Plate XXXV.) . . .153 

Red Rocks in the Garden of the Gods (Plate XXXVI.) . 161 

Colorado Springs and the Prairie (Plate XXXVII.) . . 167 

" Earth Pillar " and Pike's Peak, Colorado (Plate XXXVIII.) 173 
Earth Pillars, " Monument Park," Colorado Springs (Plate 

XXXIX.) 175 

Scene in " Monument Park" (Plate XL.) . . . 179 

Group of Earth Pillars, " Monument Park" (Plate XLI.) 183 

Chipman Squirrel (Plate XLII.) .... 191 

Mirage in the Gulf Stream . . . . .214 

Bottle Chart . . . . . . .216 

Diagrams illustrating the Bottle Chart . . . 217 

Two Views of Niagara Falls illustrating Perspective . 221 

Squares illustrating " Perspective "... 223 

Diagrams illustrating Mirage ..... 225 

Diagram illustrating the Action of a Geyser . . 231 

Diagrams illustrating the Outcrop Tubes of a Geyser . 235 

Diagram illustrating the Action of a Geyser , , 238 


E are close to New York at the 
time this simple story begins, 
after a voyage of six days — 
the first from Liverpool to 
Mizen Head, South Ireland, in 
calm weather, with smooth sea 
and cloudy sky. The outlines of Erin looked 
very grey and peaceful in the early morning 
light. At Queenstown entrance, three or four 
boats put out to meet us, and the fine-looking 
Irish women in them lost no chance of selling 
their laces and shawls whilst we waited for the 
overland mail. Soon the short, squat, sturdy- 
looking paddle-boat came alongside, and for 
about a quarter of an hour the crew swarmed like 
ants in a double line along the two gangways, 
carrying aboard their sackfuls of letters addressed 
to all quarters of the globe. When these came 
to an end, the bags and portmanteaux of the few 
passengers to be added to our list kept them busy 
for a few minutes, and then, with the gangway, 
the last link between ourselves and the Old World 


was withdrawn, and we steamed away from the 
post-office boat, waving our final farewells. 

It was Sunday morning, and though dull, and 
followed by a dull Monday, the sea was as 
smooth as could be wished. Our progress 
seemed to be generally about 470 to 490 sea 
miles in the twenty- four hours, and every night 
in the smoking-room a pool was formed by those 
who were ready to back their opinions as to the 
length of the day's run, often holding nearly £1%. 
The tickets were sold by two spirited auctioneers, 
on one of whose cards I saw the interesting and 
rather ambitious titles — 

" The Eastern Mystic 


Prince of Orators." 

Several of the bidders, I believe, had little to bid 
with, but they did not seem to hesitate to give 
their ten or fifteen shillings with the rest. 

On Tuesday night we struck the north-west 
edge of a cyclone ; the wind was fairly strong 
from the north-east, but, as one could predict, it 
grew gradually weaker, and by Wednesday at 
noon had almost died away. It was fairly cold 
whilst this wind lasted, and damp too, with fine, 
drizzling rain. Then followed light north winds, 
and a gleam or two of sunshine, and by Thursday 
morning, off the banks of Newfoundland, we had 
entered the fog, which lay on the outskirts of 
the main mass of mist, in very long fingers 
pointing south. The water's colour changed two 
or three times in the course of the day from 
ultramarine to deep indigo, or the reverse : now 


and then, however, it looked almost black when 
viewed perpendicularly, with scarcely a tinge of 
green, even in the foam. 

A whale had been sighted in the distance about 
three on Wednesday afternoon ; two or three 
more were seen on Thursday, and one at least on 
Friday. They appeared just above the water, 
thus : — 

or when they "spouted," sent up a sudden squirt 
for some four or five feet into the air. This 
blowing lasted little more than a second, and 
their movements were far from easy to follow so 
far off. But though the whales were disappointing, 
the porpoises amused us much. Twice we saw 
small schools of them, swimming in column, two 
or three deep, and leaping out of the water beau- 
tifully, a rank at a time. Once we could follow 
them swimming beneath the surface obliquely 
towards the ship. They are friendly-looking 
things, very plump, with dark grey backs, 
yellowish-white beneath. We saw no birds of 
any kind in Mid- Atlantic except two small ones, 
which seemed to accompany the ship — flying 
alongside by day, and, I suppose, resting in the 


rigging by night. On Thursday I made the 
acquaintance of Mr. B., third officer, with whom 
I had a most interesting conversation, on the Gulf 
Stream. By throwing overboard at known spots 
bottles of clear glass, with instructions to the finder 
enclosed, and making a chart of their course, in- 
ferred from the places where they are found, the 
ocean currents are being unravelled slowly. I 

When the Gulf Stream meets cold air it forms 
a fog extending high over the warm water ; on 
the other hand, when a cold stream meets warm 
air the fog is very superficial — only a few feet 
deep — and is called a "shaver." Often there is 
a distinct line on the surface between the Gulf 
Stream and the colder water " as clean as could 
be cut with a knife " ; and generally there will be 
a breeze along the surface of the cold water 
towards the warm which dies suddenly and 
completely when the warm current is reached. 
This is satisfactorily and easily explained in the 
same way as the " sea-breeze " is. 

1 See Appendix. 


Again, a curious mirage is often noticed thus : — 

Sea* rLarCyyix , 

This is easily explained by refraction of rays 
from points on and beyond the real horizon — 
upwards, over the warm water, and downwards 
over the cold. 1 

The captain told me a yarn of a predecessor 
of his, a stern disciplinarian. One day when he 
was using the sextant, the sun was obscured by a 
small cloud at the very moment when it was 
required clear, and the mate, who was standing by 
watching his chief, said to him, "I'm afraid that 
cloud prevented you from making an observa- 
tion." " It has not hindered you at all events," 
was the instant reply. 

Our cabin was exceedingly comfortable, and 
the passage an exceptionally fast one, for the 
Etruria made her record run, and so we reached 
New York about eight o'clock on Saturday 
morning, and by nine had our luggage inspected 
— everything being opened — and drove off 
through strikingly handsome streets to the 
Murray Hill Hotel, using the time we had to 
stay in the city in visiting a bank and trying the 
elevated railway. It was a hot day, and the 
streets were very tiring. 

What impressed me most at first sight was the 
height of the buildings, some of them twenty 
storeys and more ; and also the absence of 

1 See Appendix. 


smoke, perhaps mainly due to the season, as 
well as to the universal use of electricity. The 
steamer connection across the river is exceedingly 
good ; every street of any importance ending on 
the river frontage has its busy little boat plying 
constantly between it and the opposite shore, so 
that the waters of the Hudson are very animated. 
No city that I have ever seen looked so busy, 
and at the same time so bright and clean. It 
gives you the idea of covering an immense area, 
and the long ride we took in one direction on an 
electric car strengthened this impression. The 
people look as if they worked hard, but had 
recreation too. Our stay was, of course, too 
short to get more than a rough idea. Brooklyn 
Bridge is magnificent, and the towers which bear 
the chains at either end are wonderfully light in 
structure, compared with any that I have seen in 

That evening, as the train carried us swiftly 
along the broad, tranquil Hudson River, we 
passed through scenes of wonderful beauty : — 
bold rounded headlands of red rock, wooded 
from top to bottom, recalling Devonshire, — 
villages, towns, and country villas, nestling 
amid the trees, on the lower slopes, — yachts, 
with their white and brown sails perfectly 
reflected in the smooth waters — dreams of home 
scenery, like the Dart and the Tamar : a little 
later, and we plunged into the thick woods ; but 
it rapidly grew dark, and time for dinner. Black 
waiters handed us dainty dishes and iced drinks. 
The cars are models of comfort, with smoking, 
dressing, and sleeping compartments, all brilliantly 


lit up by a gas which burnt with an unusually 
white flame, and gave an excellent light for 
reading. 1 Boys came round with papers and 
magazines, leaving several for examination, and 
were not at all grieved or surprised if on their 
return none were purchased. And so at last to 
bed : but although the berth seemed large after 
the ship's closer quarters, to sleep was not easy, 
for the pace of the train was very great, and the 
oscillations violent. 

Next morning, about six, we passed through 
Buffalo, and with only the glimpse of a distant flash 
of white foam, which may or may not have been 
the Falls, steamed into Niagara station, and thence 
drove across the suspension bridge to the Canadian 
side, putting up at the Clifton, which has a superb 
view of both American and Horse-Shoe cataracts 
(Plate I.). Of these hundreds of descriptions have 
been written. Many I have read, and from them 
and from photographs of the Falls, and especially 
from the moving pictures, one may get a rough 
idea of what they are like. We learn that there 
are practically two distinct falls, with a full quarter- 
mile of island between them, and that the American 
is a few feet higher than the Canadian, or Horse- 
Shoe. Guide-books, in the style that is peculiar 
to them, tell you that the St. Lawrence is a mile 
wide at the place where it makes its great leap of 
1 60 odd feet. Ruskin describes the rush of water 
at the rounded brink of the precipice as "sheer 
polished velocity," yet no descriptions I have read 
or heard from friends quite prepared me for what 
I saw. The American Fall is very graceful. 

1 Perhaps ethylene, or a mixture of coal gas and acetylene. 


Doubtless the tall parallel furrows in the white 
foam make it look rather broader and not quite 
so high as it would seem without them. 1 It does 
not, however, produce any feeling of awe, even 
when the Maid of the Mist — as the little steamer 
is called — takes you close to the base, where the 
huge fallen rocks form a kind of rampart, through 
which the new foamy water rushes in milk-white 
streams. Viewed from the opposite side (Plate II.), 
this fall looks far less the work of Nature than 
many really artificial waterfalls I have seen — its 
lip is so straight and level. The water is a pale 
brownish-green only for the first six or eight feet 
down ; it then becomes broken into spray, and 
remains snow-white for the rest of its descent. 
From its base long rolling clouds of mist are 
blown out over the water and rise, but soon 
melt into the air, and seldom ascend to the 
level of the brink. One cannot possibly criticise 
so calmly the vision which meets the eyes if they 
turn further to the west (see Plate I.), past the dry, 
ruddy face of the precipices beneath the dark trees 
of Goat Island. There, on the left, nearly a 
mile away, the sunshine kindles to transcendent 
whiteness a curved cliff of foam ; and from 
just behind it bursts forth cloud after cloud of 
spray as though fired from a thousand guns, now 
rolling up billow on billow, now in countless 
spear-points of water turning at once to the 
finest mist — a mist which floats across the 
gorge, and rises broad and triumphant, decked 
with snow-white plumes and feather sprays, until, 
a mass of silver cloud, it drifts away across the 
1 Vide Appendix. 

pq 5 

° 8 

'0 CO 

v J 


summer sky. Just above this cloud of foam the 
great body of the river's water comes over in one 
massive, unbroken liquid wall of clearest emerald, 
fretted and flecked with falling crescents of foam, 
coruscating and scintillating in the sunshine. 
Here and there, on the arch of the water, 
flash, for an instant, drawn-out reflections of 
the sun like glittering threads of fire ; but it is 
impossible for any one to put into words the 
look of irresistible power, of overwhelming 
strength, and crushing weight of that translucent 
mass of crystal. The Maid of the Mist ventures 
not near where the mighty river crashes into the 
waters below, lest the return current — swift and 
strong — should sweep her to instant destruction. 
The thunder of the conflict shakes the land for 
a long distance round, 1 and for three hundred 
feet or more from the bottom of this fall, the 
broad surface of the river is one seething and 
hissing mass of foam, tossed with waves hurrying 
from side to side. 

On our first day we drove to the most inte- 
resting spots on the American side, and ex- 
plored them all rather hastily. The Terrapin 
tower no longer stands on the rock at the 
edge of the Horse-Shoe Fall (Plate III.); they 
say that people persisted in climbing it and 
getting into danger, so that it was judged best 
to consign it to the mercies of dynamite, and 
thus it met its fate and went over the falls 
many years before it would naturally have 

1 At night we felt it quite distinctly in Clifton House — 
rattling loose windows. It is wonderful to think that this 
goes on always. 


perished — for sooner or later this is what 
happens to everything near the brink. Looking 
down into the shallow border of the river near 
the lip of the American fall, one can see how 
the rocks disintegrate. Cracks at first very- 
narrow slowly widen every year, until the 
loosened slabs are suddenly torn asunder and 
whirled away to join what is left of their former 
neighbours at the bottom of the abyss, where they 
are first shattered and then ground to powder. 

Clad in tarpaulin, and looking like seals and 
penguins, we descended to the path cut in the 
rock, which leads behind the first few ribs of the 
western part of the Horse- Shoe, and were duly 
drenched in the fringe of the fall. I found the 
temperature of the air and water mixed, and 
falling in torrents of drops on the thermometer 
held at arm's length and drenched for three or 
four minutes, was 21 C. exactly ; the same was 
the temperature of the air full of fine mist 
outside the thick spray and at the level of the 
water flowing away from the fall ; whilst the 
actual stream of water flowing from the base of 
the same torrent of spray was at 22*3° C. at 
least, and may have been as much as 22*5° C, but 
stooping down to read the instrument immersed 
beneath the broken stream, with blasts of wind 
driving thick spray into eyes and mouth, so that 
one could scarcely breathe, it was not easy to 
make sure of the decimal as the scale marked 
whole degrees. I feel certain, however, that the 
reading was within the limits I have stated, and 
if so it is rather strange that there should be 
1 -3° C. difference between the spray, which after 


falling makes the stream, only two or three feet 
above the water's surface, and the stream itself. 1 
All was in the shade, though a brilliant sun was 
shining above the fall. 

We watched logs of wood, which had come 
over the falls, quietly stand on end and disappear 
in the vortex of the whirlpool, not to see daylight 
again for four miles down stream. We admired 
the wonderful Whirlpool rapids with their raging 
waves. I photographed the wildest spot of all 
— where Captain Webb was seen for the last 
time (Plate IV.). A man in a padded tub made 
the descent from the foot of the American fall 
to the shore of the Whirlpool, on which by 
good luck he stranded, in fourteen minutes ; 
on opening the tub he was found more dead 
than alive, but he recovered. One other, the 
captain of a former Maid of the Mist, navi- 
gated this terrible stream in safety. He had 
fallen into debt, and was warned that the 
bailiffs were coming for him. For love of his 
Maid, and resolved that she should never be 
taken from him to pay his debts, he determined 
to risk his own life with his boat's, and turned 
her head down stream. Together they en- 
countered the thousand rock-demons of that 
mile of wild surf, and, after some madly ex- 
citing moments, sailed safe and sound into the 
calm, free waters of British Ontario. 

I visited the strange " Sulphur Spring" above 

the falls, where, in a space boarded round, gas 

comes rushing up through the black waters of a 

small pool, making them seem to boil violently. 

1 Vide Appendix. 


The unlit gas contains sulphuretted hydrogen — 
of that there is no doubt. When a light is 
applied it catches fire with a burst of flame, 
reddish-yellow near the base, and in the central 
part, bright, like the flame of coal gas. 

There was but little smell of sulphur dioxide, 
and from this fact, as well as from the appearance 
of the flame and its spectrum, it seemed to be 
mainly methane — or perhaps a mixture of methane, 
ethane, and other hydrocarbons. The spectrum 
was rather curious — I only made a very rough 
observation with a small pocket spectroscope ; it 
showed on a fairly bright continuous band an 
intense sodium line (I suppose it was sodium, 
though my instrument was too feeble to show the 
line double), also a dull reddish orange line, so 
faint as to look almost brown, situated on the less 
refrangible side of the sodium, and a fairly bright 
line in the green which seemed well defined on 
both sides, and therefore could only doubtfully be 
assigned to carbon. So "Sulphur Spring" is 
only, as Tweedledee would say, what the spring 
is called. What it is I cannot say exactly, but it 
certainly is not chiefly either sulphur or com- 
pounds of that element. 1 

1 The spring might be very easily imitated, by laying on a 
copious supply of unpurified coal gas, and letting it bubble up 
freely through very dirty water; by dissolving salts in the 
water it would be quite easy to produce a spectrum rather 
different from that of coal gas. In the actual spring, although 
a considerable quantity of the gas escaped into the air before 
being lit, I did not notice any odour like that of ordinary 
coal gas ; still the sulphuretted hydrogen would mask, to a 
considerable extent, any other smell. There might well be 
some gold in such a spring, if the price of admission were 
as high as the payment to see this " Sulphur " specimen ! 




The Dufferin Isles are lovely, and the rapids 
above the falls well worth visiting. The river is 
so wide, that as one looks up stream and sees the 
long lines of tumbling, broken water hurrying to 
take their last leap, it resembles sea rather than 
river, and the cascades of snow-white foam against 
a dark sky make a beautiful picture. 

Strikingly grand as Niagara is under bright 
sunshine, it is still more impressive at sunset and 
by moonlight. To take the evening of Tuesday, 
August 10th, for instance, we were then looking 
at the American fall from the west. Near the 
horizon lay a bank of heavy cumulus thunder- 
clouds glowing in the orange and scarlet of sun- 
set against a sky of pale saffron,, piled up one 
above another, like range upon range of very 
lofty rounded snow-peaks. Filmy, salmon- 
coloured stratus, in long level lines, cut the 
upper slopes of these cloud mountains ; whilst 
below them, and nearer, lay another range of 
weird dark purple clouds, contrasting wonderfully 
with the gorgeous hues of the distant giant range. 
Sharp against the inky horizon leapt and tumbled 
the amber breakers of the rapids, flanked with 
deep warm green of foliage on Luna and Goat 
Islands, the smoother patches of water reflecting 
the pale blue of the sky nearer the zenith. The 
tresses of the fall itself were all palest cream, 
losing themselves in the glowing heart of the half 
transparent foam wreaths l slowly curling up from 
depths already growing dark in the shadow of the 

1 This wonderful glow in the mist of the Horse-Shoe Fall is 
the effect of the reflection of brilliant sunshine from the 
smooth falling water on the spray. 


cliffs. And who shall describe the wonders of the 
Horse-Shoe Fall at this solemn hour ? Who shall 
paint the subtle shades of the huge pillar of rosy- 
mist 1 ever rising to the sky, or the magic of the 
clean-cut sheets of emerald descending close beside 
this hazy, opal tower ? The day dies fast, — fleeting 
is the glow of sunset, higher and higher climb the 
cold blue shades of coming night, brighter and 
brighter shines its gentle queen as she rises in 
matchless tranquillity over the far-away storm 
clouds, and Niagara, the sleepless, is meanwhile 
transfigured from one glory to another. 

That night, about eleven o'clock, from Table 
Rock, which juts out over the waters, 1 saw the 
Horse-Shoe Fall by the brilliant full moon, which 
then stood over the rapids above the cataract, so 
that the part of the water about the centre of the 
great curve was in shadow, whilst to right and 
left the light fell obliquely on the waters in their 
descent. Palest grey are they, except just where 
they curve over ; there, furrowed streaks of molten 
silver form the highest lights in all the picture. 
For a while the edges of the pillar of cloud lightly 
veil the moon, deepening the ghostly shadows, 
and the mystery of the depth below. Only the 
thunder of the falling waters, even louder now 
than by day, betray that they are real, so 
visionary and ethereal do they look. Dark and 
impenetrable, the serrated woods on either shore 
guard the boundaries of the endless race of eager 
waters, and over all the stars are glittering, set 
in the high arch of night. So has the Indian 

1 A rose-salmon colour next the sun, changing into pale 
cobalt through all the mixtures of cobalt and light red. 


looked upon it from afar in ages past, scarce 
daring to approach the home of the Dread Spirit 
of the Falls ; and so in ages yet to come, 
shall all to whom Niagara unfolds her wondrous 
visions, know that here the veil between the 
visible and invisible grows thin ; they shall hear 
the voice of the Great Spirit in the sound of 
many waters, and see — if it be but the hem 
of his garment — in the whiteness which no fuller 
on earth can whiten. 

The view from the top of the tower of the lift 
on the American side is good, and shows a little 
of Lakes Erie and Ontario ; only part of the 
Horse-Shoe is visible, but the gorge lies open 
just below you as far as the Whirlpool. 


EXT day, Wednesday, August 1 1 th, 
we said farewell to Niagara after 
a very fine glimpse of the falls 
from the railway to Chicago. Of 
that city we saw very little in the 
short drive from station to station ; 
it has the same tall buildings as New York. We 
caught a glimpse of Lake Michigan just before 
reaching Chicago, and as we ran along its 
southern shore the waves were breaking on the 
beach under the sunset sky, in a northerly breeze, 
like the waves of an ocean. 

On Thursday morning we reached St. Paul — 
after travelling through scenery something like 
the tamest of English landscapes — and left again 
by the Northern Pacific in the afternoon. The 
dust was a nuisance for the first time, and the 
dining car intolerably hot, as the windows had to 
be closed to prevent the dust from getting in. 
This plague of the desert is almost impalpable — 
not gritty, more like mould. All day the clouds 
have been one stately procession of heavy cumulus, 
(Plate V.) floating in a bright blue sky, but different 


from any I have seen in the prevailing shape which 
is columnar, getting thicker at the top, like the 
stumps of pollard willows, or like elongated 
broccoli flowers. 

About 2 a.m. one of the grease boxes, which 
keep the axles of the car-wheels cool, got very 
hot and emitted volumes of dense black smoke ; 
we had to stop several times before the remedies 
were successful. Meantime a severe thunder- 
storm was in progress. I watched it for over an 
hour ; the lightning was, at first, white, and later 
on, yellow ; the thunder, of the single-explosion 
type — not sounding like heavy boxes pitched down 
a long, carpetless, wooden staircase, still less of a 
boom and rumble, and also different from the 
hollow roar I have often noticed on semi-tropical 
sea-coasts. Over and over again there would be 
two loud cracks of thunder with an interval of, 
say, thirty seconds between them, but not a 
glimmer of lightning visible I ; then would come a 
blinding flash and an explosion about a second 
afterwards. Then a longish interval, with perhaps 
another flash and its peal, and then two peals 
again unaccompanied by lightning. Occasion- 
ally, very faint discharges occurred just before the 
brilliant flashes, suggesting the preparation of a 
way for them. This was, at last, followed by 
very heavy rain and wind. For a long while 
there had been scarcely any — only a few pattering 
drops falling. We had already crossed the 
Mississippi, laden with timber, at Minneapolis ; 
and now, about six or seven in the morning, the 

1 The night was very dark, in spite of the nearly full moon, 
and I should certainly have noticed even a faint flash. 



Missouri lay beneath us, a very wide, dirty-yellow 
river with mud banks. After breakfast nothing 
met the eye but undulating country, with toy hills 
and tiny watercourses marked green with rushes 
and shrubs. Short grass, brown and burnt- 
looking, covered it, mixed with a herb resembling 
lavender. Here and there small wooden huts or 
houses, with a few horses, cattle, and sheep 
scattered round them, marked a farm ; but for 
the most part it was barren and lifeless. Never- 
theless, in the clear, fresh morning air, the dust, 
fortunately for us, having been laid by the night's 
storms, the wide plains had a certain wild beauty 
of their own. The hills were flat-topped, most of 
them, and the sides of some of the streams sug- 
gested canons already. 

In the afternoon the " bad land" of North 
Dakota was flitting by the windows on either side 
— land which looked like the refuse-heaps of alkali 
works poured out in mounds ten to fifty feet high, 
and then worn into ruts by the rain (Plate V.). 
The hills were all horizontally traversed, as we saw 
them running from east to west, by rather widely 
separated layers of some harder black material, 
only an inch or two thick. It was here that the 
Indians gave trouble about five or six years ago, 
so one of the blacks said. The wind was north, 
and this, with some storm showers, cooled the 
air, and made travelling delightful in the "annex." 

Some of the low cones recalled very forcibly 
the Red Coolins of Skye, but, although like the 
Coolins in colour and shape, they cannot be worn- 
down volcanoes, for the very long lines of strata, 
all inclined at the same gentle angle east and 



west, and more steeply in sections lying north 
and south, prove their watery birth. Although 
built of a soft material, which seemed to the eye 
a kind of sandstone, their sides are very steep ; 
and this, as well as the depth to which even the 
small rills cut themselves channels, indicate that 
although this soil is too hard for the raindrops to 
wash down, it is too soft to withstand the action of 
the streams of water formed after the rain reaches 
the surface. There was a beautiful sunset, the 
shadow of the earth rising in the eastern sky so 
well marked, that had I noticed the time it took 
to reach the zenith, it might have served for a 
rough determination of the least height to which 
the atmosphere exists. 1 

Several prairie dogs we saw, some sitting up 
like squirrels or kangaroos, and eating ; others 
squatting low ; they took very little notice of the 
train. Gradually the valley of the Yellowstone, 
up which we are now travelling, becomes 
more fertile, large fields of rather stunted 
Indian corn and thick copses alternating with 
tracts of desert which grows only short, coarse 
grass, the lavender-like shrub, and very dwarf 
cacti with bristles. The prairie dogs and their 
mounds, like large mole-hills, only appear where 
the lavender shrub is wanting. Tiny sunflowers 
there were in great numbers, with dark eyes and 
long, thin stalks ; a small pinkish-violet thistle 
cropped up now and then, and a white flower in 
patches. The full moon rose soon after sunset, and 
it grew much colder. Next morning the aneroid 

1 Some similar observations made later gave from 150 to 
180 miles. 


barometer marked 4,100 feet at Livingstone, so 
that we had gone up some 900 feet in the night. 
The lower part of the valley of the Yellowstone, 
along which the railway runs, is about 3,200 
feet above sea-level for miles and miles. 

Friday night was only remarkable for the 
occasional violent charges of the engine against 
the carriages — I suppose after being detached 
to take water, or perhaps exchanged for a 
fresh engine. Once I was within an ace of 
making a sudden and unpremeditated aerial 
descent from my upper berth, but wide awake in a 
moment, I saved both person and appearances 
by instantly clinging like a bat to the sideboard. 

Saturday morning broke brilliantly as usual, 
and it was baking hot on the box seat of the 
coach and six that plodded along the road to 
Cinnabar. Soon after " Emigrant " we passed 
on the right a very fine dyke, and an eagle's nest, 
with one bird near it, high up on a sort of earth 
pillar to the left of the road. There were several 
frail plank bridges, whose strength we must have 
tested pretty well in crossing. If it had not been 
for the firs, aspens and willows, sunflowers, dwarf 
cacti, poppies, and other flowers we could call by 
no specific name, one narrow gorge might have 
been Norwegian, or even in North Wales ; but 
the hills above us all the way were bare except 
for the pale bluish-green sage bushes, and the 
ashy soil is of so strange a colour that it almost 
matches them. 

The scenery, in great part, brought Pedro Gil, 
in Teneriffe, vividly to mind, for the hills looked 
burnt up and arid to the last degree. The 


Devil's Slide is a magnificent pair of parallel 
dykes, both tipped over towards the east, and 
running the whole way down the face of one of the 
lower spurs, with a smooth — perhaps water-worn 
— channel between them, vermilion in the centre 
and yellow ochre at the sides. 

After dinner at the Mammoth Springs Hotel, 
we went to see the terraces of carbonate of lime, 
deposited by the hot waters in their course from 
the boiling springs down the hill-side ; and won- 
derful they are, both in form and colour — veined 
marble staircases, a turquoise pool in every step. 
I descended into the Devil's Kitchen by a 
nearly vertical ladder, the rungs of which are a 
trifle worn. It is a narrow tilted shaft, wider 
below, and entirely coated within with the lime- 
stone deposit. The Angel's Terrace was next 
inspected and photographed. By the side of one 
large pond of warm water, often used for bathing, 
and surrounded by woods, two snipe were 
wading. H. actually got within six feet of one of 
them ; they both seemed quite tame, and paddled 
about unconcerned whilst we watched them. No 
one is allowed to molest the animals in the park ; 
the penalty for breaking the protective laws is 
severe — for instance, a man was fined 100 dollars 
with six months' imprisonment for shooting an 
elk. The pretty little chipman squirrel, shy 
enough in most places, showed no signs of 
uneasiness when we came almost near enough to 
touch it, and continued busily eating fir-cones as 
big as itself. 

The Mammoth Springs Hotel is built over two 
great caves, the main entrances to which are down 


by the river three or four hundred yards off ; but 
through some loose planks there is another 
opening just outside the house. At the present 
time there are many wild beasts in these caves. 
They only come out after nightfall, and though 
they are often seen sneaking round in quest of 
scraps of food, they have never as yet harmed the 
poultry, and seem to prefer hunting in the woods. 
Amongst them are the polecats and coyotes, a 
kind of wolf-dog. I asked if the polecats smelt 
much. The man turned away his head with an 
expressive " Teugh ! " which spoke volumes. 
There are plenty of black bears near ; they do 
not, however, attack men, nor do men attack 
them in this region of peace. One evening this 
summer a she-bear and her young one visited a 
hotel not far away ; the young one came in and 
sniffed about, whilst the mother waited outside. 
After satisfying its curiosity the little bear walked 
out again, and they went quietly away together. 
It is not the beasts that are to be feared so much 
as men ! This very morning, eight of the ordi- 
nary coaches conveying tourists were " held up " 
by two rascals masked with sacks pierced for 
eye-holes, their feet padded to prevent their 
leaving a trail, and armed with Winchester rifles 
and revolvers. These two made the men, about 
twenty in number, stand in a row with their 
hands up, and, covering each in turn, forced them 
to part with their money, thus collecting about 
300 dollars. They are thought to be young hands 
at the business, as they did not cut the wires 
connecting the various coaching stations, and so 
in a very short time every one in the district heard 


what had been done ; soldiers were sent for at 
once, and arrived at about the same time that we 
did ; but in spite of all this, the general opinion 
seems to be that the men will not be caught. 1 
They treated the ladies civilly, asking them 
whether they had any money, and taking their 
word for it if they replied " No," as one or two 
did. They did not search any one ; and at this 
moment a tourist is boasting that he got off with a 
loss of only ten dollars, whilst over two hundred 
were in his coat pocket. It is supposed that one of 
the robbers is a murderer who has been " wanted " 
for some time, and that either failure of pro- 
visions, which seems scarcely likely, or want of 
funds to leave the country, was the cause of the 
attack. It is some years since the last raid of 
the kind was made, and the event keeps a great 
many tongues busy this evening. One lady is 
said to have burst into tears on hearing of the 
adventure of the " holding-up " party, so annoyed 
was she at having missed the excitement ! 

Day broke with another cloudless morning, and 
the air delightfully cool and fresh. With a pair 
of capital horses, and relieved of our heavier 
baggage, we started for the Norris, or Lower 
Geyser Basin, which proved every bit as good as 
the guide-books made out — the " Monarch," how- 
ever would not play, and military police and the 
lack of a box of soap rightly prevented any of the 
more reckless spirits from hurrying his operations. 
This way of precipitating an eruption was dis- 
covered by a luckless Chinee, who, thinking that 

1 Just before leaving America, it was rumoured that the 
efforts of the police had proved successful. 


much trouble might be saved in washing his 
clothes by the use of a quiet-looking geyser pool, 
proceeded to carry the thought into action ; when 
suddenly his clothes and several tons of water 
were ejected together, and the share he received 
proved both hotter and heavier than he could 
bear, and he was killed on the spot. 

The roaring steam geyser, " Black Growler," in 
the Norris Basin, is now depositing a gelatinous 
pure magnesium silicate ; my guide tells me that 
this kind of deposit has only been forming during 
the last two years. Two cases I saw, passing 
strange, of a large geyser pool of boiling water 
beautifully clear, and within a yard in one case 
and only a foot and a half in the other lay a much 
smaller pool, also of boiling water, but full of 
precipitated sulphur, a mixture of the consistency 
of very thin mud. It is difficult to explain the 
entirely different character of springs so very close 
together. One thing seems certain, their supply 
pipes cannot have any connection. The " New 
Crater " geyser is very fine ; it came into existence 
about two years ago, with earthquakes and phe- 
nomena resembling a true and explosive volcanic 
eruption. A double crater was formed, large 
stones being ejected, and now a geyser plays from 
either one or the other, but never from both 

After waiting a short time by the " Monarch " 
in vain, we set off again in our cosy little car, and 
passed rapidly through some lovely pine forests, 
first by Gibbon river, and down the Gibbon 
canon with its pretty fall, and then by Fire- Hole 
river, which teems with good fish. Sometimes 


we drove by boiling springs quite near the road 
— Beryl spring for instance : at others we could 
see only the steam rising amongst the trees. Two 
cold springs of mineral water we tasted ; one, the 
Apollinaris, bubbling with carbonic acid gas, the 
other strongly impregnated with iron and soda, 
tasting like ink. We heard, on our arrival at the 
Upper Basin, that the Smaller Fountain geyser 
was due to play, and I hastened to the spot, 
camera in hand, and found a good many people, 
some standing, some sitting, waiting for the 
troubling of the clear waters of the pool, which 
lies on the top of a broad, gently-sloping, dazzling 
white terrace of silica. 1 Presently, the appearance 
of a small jet, like that of a fire-plug, gave us warn- 
ing, and caused a sudden retreat of the spectators 
from the basin, and then up sprang a thick column 
of water, about twelve feet high, whilst the spray 
flew thirty or forty feet, and the dense cloud of 
steam rose two or three hundred feet higher into 
the air (Plate VI.). Suddenly the wind shifted, 
and the descending shower of hot spray drenched 
one of the spectators in a moment, but did not 
hurt him much ; the others applauded vigorously, 
whilst the victim himself retreated as fast as he 
could from that side of the basin. 

After dinner, we went to see the wild bears 
come down to take the pickings the hotel people 
put down for them on the outskirts of the wood to 
the north of the hotel, and about four hundred 
paces from it. We had not long to wait. Scarcely 
had the cart carrying the refuse, and drawn by two 

1 The substance of which sand is chiefly composed. Pure 
silica is found crystallised as quartz 


horses, deposited its load, when a large black bear 
shuffled lazily out of the forest, easy to see, as 
he crossed a white geyserite patch, and began 
his meal about a hundred paces from the hotel 
visitors. We watched him a long time ; I hoped 
to see more, but no others appeared then, probably 
because of the loud talking and laughter of some 
of the people. The bears often come in large 
numbers, seven or eight quite commonly, and 
sometimes they actually try to climb up into the 
cart. Although horses as a rule are rendered 
almost mad with fright by a bear, or the scent of 
one, those that drew this cart are quite accustomed 
to their visitors, and take no notice of them 
whatever. It is a strange sight to see. An old 
backwoodsman, who knew Yellowstone some 
years before any of the hotels were built, and 
who had fought in no less than eighteen battles, 
told me that his experience was that "If you 
act fair by bears, the bears will act fair by you " : — 
and so with most animals, but not with all — 
not with the mountain lion ! 

Last evening, on returning from an intensely 
hot and very active day in the Upper Basin, I 
had no time or inclination to do more than change 
my plates — a desperate performance when tired 
out, and with nothing better than a pair of steps 
to change them on. The consequence is, it is 
difficult, even at one day's interval, to give 
any adequate account of that home of geysers. 
Perhaps the most lovely things of all we saw were 
" Morning Glory " and, late in the afternoon, 
the Emerald Pool. They are both indescribably 
beautiful, and one could easily imagine be- 


coming so enchanted with those clear crystal 
depths as to draw nearer and nearer, till 
with a fatal plunge all is ended — for in a few 
minutes, so they say, a man's flesh boils to 
rags. In a horrible example, which one hopes 
may be wholly untrue, but which was never- 
theless mentioned as a fact, a man was trying 
to sound the depth of one of these azure pools, 
when the crust under foot gave way ; before 
any adequate help could be given, a period of 
three to five minutes according to the story, he 
was hopelessly boiled, and only his skeleton took 
the hook with which they fished for his remains ! 
The first great sight on the way to the Upper 
Basin is " Excelsior," the water volcano : the 
throat lies concealed in a boiling lake about three 
hundred feet square. Its eruptions, which are 
very rare, are simply appalling, the explosions 
shaking the whole region. The water flows from 
the lake into Fire- Hole river, down a terrace 
streaked with the most gorgeous yellow, orange, 
pink, brown and mauve tints. Near it is Sunset 
Lake, a broad sheet of hot water, with exquisite 
scalloped border, and lovely rippling shallows. 
The Grotto geyser was on the point of playing 
as we approached it. I photographed it before 
the eruption began. Soon after a grand burst of 
steam and a soaring column of spray told us that 
the " Splendid" was playing ; we were very lucky 
to see it, as it often has long and uncertain 
periods of rest. The water flew two hundred feet 
into the air, but before I could get my camera 
ready the spectacle was over ; and though the 
geyser played in the distance two hours after- 


wards, and again two hours after that, and looked 
as though a fourth outburst were imminent, when 
we passed close by its basin in the afternoon, I did 
not get a chance of taking it again. The " Giant," 
with a crater like the rent stump of a tree when 
seen from outside, was also preparing to exert his 
enormous strength and the three little "indicators" 
which rise beside him were fuming and spouting 
constantly ; but he did not get above just boiling 
over now and then, so we drove to the lunch 
tent, and hearing that one of " Old Faithful's " ex- 
hibitions was to be given in a short time, left at 
once for a little plateau near him. Punctual to 
the minute, as he almost always is, a low, thick 
column of water rose from the white cone which 
crowns his beautiful terrace formation ; then this 
subsided and rose again a little higher, again 
sank, and after a few seconds of breathless ex- 
pectation, amidst dull sounding explosions of 
steam, there burst forth the great fountain (Plate 
VII.) — now and then sinking a little, and then soar- 
ing far above the rolling clouds of vapour, shining 
like silver in the bright sunshine (vide Plate VIII.), 
and falling in shower after shower of liquid 
diamonds, whilst the shallow basins below (vide 
Plate IX.) were swept with glittering flashes, as 
though watered with white fire. All the time, 
flickering rainbows burnt in the sheets and fringes 
of spray, and down the snow-white sculptured 
terrace-steps flowed innumerable little cascades of 
bubbling water, sparkling brightly. Gradually the 
fountain grew lower, until at last it disappeared. 
For a few minutes small domes of water would 
burst over the cone, and fall into the side basins ; 


then even this ceased, and the great geyser fell 
asleep, to wake again after sixty-five minutes' rest. 

Scarcely had I photographed this splendid sight, 
and turned to inspect the Cascade geyser, which 
was playing, when suddenly the "Castle" shot 
up a column of steam and water with a loud roar. 
This was unexpected, and we made our way down 
the slope to it as fast as we could, but not fast 
enough to get up to it before the best of its play 
was over. It was a beautiful sight, even from a 
distance, but the guides thought it a poor display 
for this particular geyser, which sometimes — 
according to them — sends aloft a spire of water 
nearly two hundred feet high for fifteen minutes, 
and then roars steam furiously for as long again. 

After viewing the Castle from all sides we 
crossed the meadow — if that marshy tract can be 
so called — and the river by the ricketty plank 
bridge, and met a boy who acted as guide to the 
geysers and pools on the east side of the stream. 
One of the " Lion's Cubs " was playing, but its 
parents both slept. I photographed the young 
one and its father ; and then, passing the " Bee- 
hive," which, much to our regret, did not play and 
was not expected to, we examined one or two 
pools and the Cascade geyser, and then made 
our way back to " Old Faithful " to witness 
his next outburst (Plate X.) from the east side. 
It was magnificent, but a cloud came over the sun 
and did not clear till just before the close, so that 
I expect the photographs will be lacking in light 
and shade, When all was over, with another 
guide I walked past the Castle, taking a second 
glimpse at the wonderful formation which lines its 


inner walls, and then waited a few minutes to see 
the small but perfectly regular " Economic." 
All its water flows back into its throat after it 
has played, and the eruptions occur every twelve 
minutes. One would naturally expect in cases 
like this, where the boiling water which has been 
ejected in one eruption, and is still very hot, forms 
the material for the next, that the period of repose 
would be a short one — as it is. 

Strolling further to the riverside geyser, we 
witnessed a fine and long-lasting eruption. Its 
surroundings of wood and river make it more 
picturesque than many of the others, but it throws 
the jets of water and steam obliquely across the 
river, and the fountain is also oblique to the bank, 
an arrangement of lines which is not so satis- 
factory, in my opinion, as the perpendicular founts. 
Here again the camera came into use. After 
some little debate, we settled next to see the 
" Emerald Pool," one of the loveliest imaginable ; 
and then lingered some time by the " Splendid," 
which, as I have said, did not oblige us by repeat- 
ing his morning performance. And so we turned 
homewards, past the Grotto geyser (Plate XI.) and 
gave a second look at the gigantic " Excelsior," 
the " Turquoise Spring," and " Sunset Lake " ; 
and, in rather over an hour, saw the now familiar 
lights of the Fountain Hotel, where the evening 
quickly passed in dining, changing my photo- 
graphic plates, and writing. 

A trifle tired by our long days, we determined 
to make our next rather easier ; so, soon after 
breakfast, but not quite so early as usual, we set 
out with our cheerful driver to the " Great 


Fountain," about a mile and a half through the 
woods, expecting it to play about 10 a.m. On 
arriving, it seemed unready, so we drove to Fire- 
hole Lake and inspected the extraordinary blue 
flames, which seem to rise in two places under 
the water. It was a showery morning, and an 
easy proof that the appearance is not due to 
flame was given when the sun suddenly flooded 
the dark lake with light. The mysterious flames 
became much brighter, whereas, if they had been 
self-luminous, they must certainly have faded to 
some extent. A second proof is, that they are 
barely visible by bright moonlight. No one has, 
so far as I could learn, attempted to see them in 
the dark ; and no wonder, for the shore of the 
lake is a crust of geyserite which is very unsafe 
in places, not to mention the steam fog, which 
always covers the surface of the ground round 
these hot lakes at night. 

Returning to the " Great Fountain," I had 
barely time, in the rain which was falling, to set 
up my camera, before its eruption began. Great 
masses of water were thrown up by successive 
explosions ; and once, above a broad base of 
curling vapours, the boiling waters formed a 
splendid column — probably two hundred feet high 
— but it was only for an instant, and passed 
before I had made the exposure of the plate ; 
afterwards, it played grandly, but never attained 
anything like this height, and the dull light was 
not at all favourable to a worthy representation 
of what I saw. Hoping to avoid the dense 
clouds of steam, which the uncertain wind was 
blowing now and then a great deal too near me 


to be pleasant, I changed my position to the 
opposite side of the wide basin ; but by that time 
the geyser had apparently exhausted its powers, 
and, after photographing the lovely pool terraces 
round the opening, I walked across to inspect the 
water seething in the throat, on the assurance of 
the guide that all was safe. H. had already seen 
it and retired. Scarcely had I got up to the lip 
of the crater, when a renewed violent boiling and 
splashing made me retreat rather rapidly. I 
should have gone considerably faster but for a 
large man in front, who blocked the narrow path 
of planks in single file leading over the scalding 
pools, and seemed dazed by the sounds behind 
him. An explosion behind me made me run ; a 
vast mass of boiling water again shot into the air, 
but I had reached safety before the scalding 
shower descended. After this I shall not be so 
ready to believe the assurances of even the best 
guides. The geyser, in fact, had only accom- 
plished half its programme, and played grandly 
in the now bright sunshine for several minutes 
more ; and it was not for several minutes after it 
had ceased for the second time, that I ventured 
to plant my camera on the lip of the crater, to 
get a view of the wonderfully beautiful incrusta- 
tion with which it is lined (Plate XII.). 

It was a frightfully hot day. About lunch 
time, whilst changing plates on the top of the 
steps as usual, and still suffering from a difference 
between the size of my dark slides and the plates, 
I heard thunder, rapidly growing louder with every 
peal. The " Little Fountain " was to play again 
about two o'clock, and the spectacle was rendered 

V r. 
r. Z 

a? 57 


finer than ever on the sunny side, by the contrast of 
the brilliantly illuminated drops with the inky sky 
behind them. Viewed from the other side of its 
large basin, by stooping down until one could see 
the sun through the spray, a very curious effect is 
produced by the shadows of the larger drops cast 
upon the steamy mist, and thus made visible in 
long, thin lines. These seem to radiate from the 
sun, and as the drops are falling, and their shadows 
lengthen as they get further from the centre, they 
produce an effect very much like a kind of 
catherine-wheel, with the sun in the middle. I 
do not remember ever reading of this, and it may 
be that no one has happened to notice it. Of 
course it is most easily observed when the sun is 

After some very fine multiple flashes of light- 
ning, all at a considerable distance, the storm 
passed away, and under a glare almost painful we 
strolled about looking at various pools and forma- 
tions on the Fountain terrace. We were specially 
pleased with a large shallow pool, full of a sea- 
weed-like growth, which stopped short at the 
surface of the water, so that the whole had the 
look of some marvellously handsome, highly 
polished section of an enormous tree-stump. 
The colours of this pool ran through all shades of 
amber to bright golden yellow, and so through 
rich siennas to the umbers, from the lightest to 
the darkest ; whilst the glassy surface of the 
water, itself so still and spotless as to be invisible 
even on close inspection, reflected the azure of 
the sky, giving an indescribable softness to the 
blending tints. There were some very curious 



spiders about, the size of our large garden variety, 
which moved very rapidly by leaping on the 
surface of the warm water. Their colour was 
blue-grey, they were hairless, and their legs 
rather long. They seemed to take a fancy to 
our boots, and, if the truth be told, they jumped 
so long and fast, that we had some difficulty, on 
this treacherous ground of pools and streams, in 
keeping them at a respectful distance. 

Crossing the waggon trail above the terraces, 
we came to the mud volcanoes. They are well 
described in the books, and one need not say 
more than that the colour of the crater wall is 
a yellowish white, the thin, boiling mud inside 
being a pure light grey. These I photographed 
carefully (vide Plate XIII., which gives a general 
view of one of the mud volcanoes, which are 
called the Mammoth Paint-pots; and Plate XIV., 
which is an instantaneous photograph of a large 
bubble of mud blown by the steam, and taken in 
the very act of bursting). 

In the evening some niggers amused us with 
songs, accompanied by banjo and mandolin, and 
some very clever step-dancing. " Way down 
upon the Swanee River" is sung very slowly, 
and as a pathetic song — not at all as I have 
often heard it "rendered" in England. 

Before dinner, we went into the wood at the 
back of the hotel to see, if we possibly could, 
something more of the wild bears, and to try to 
get some photographs of them. After sitting 
quietly for an hour under the trees on the edge 
of the wood, I suddenly heard twigs cracking, 
and the sound of some heavy animal moving 

V, ""So 

<& ~z 


quickly close behind us. Standing up and looking 
round, I saw, through the tree trunks, a great 
big black bear coming straight towards us. At 
the same time he spied me, and instantly changed 
his course, crashing away back into the wood. 
We had all but given up hopes of seeing any 
more of them, when, behind a thin line of trees 
between us and some white geyserite, the same 
black bear reappeared, walking leisurely down 
(vide Plate XV.) to the refuse heap mentioned 
before. I secured two pictures of him before he 
spied us again and retreated, stopping every now 
and then and gazing hard in our direction. Just 
then the scrap cart came into view, with a pair 
of horses, and soon afterwards we again sighted 
our bear behind us in the wood ; at least, we 
could see his head just over the undergrowth, 
eyeing us and the cart alternately. Then he 
moved slowly to the left, and made two or three 
visits to the food heap, evidently very shy, for he 
seized a piece or two, and hurriedly retreated to 
a retired spot to enjoy it, coming back again for 
more, two or three times. 

Presently there came from the same part of 
the wood a very large she-bear, also black, and a 
fine cub ; and then two other black bears. The 
mother clearly ruled the roast, and when either 
of the other two tried to get something to eat, she 
growled savagely, and half turning towards them, 
drove them from the tempting heap. After 
seeing that the cub was choosing morsels suitable 
to its years, she ceased eating, and gazed long 
and anxiously towards the spectators, of whom 
by this time there were a considerable number, 


and at last retreated, driving her cub before her, 
evidently uneasy about it. Eventually she drove 
it up a tree, where it remained so long as we were 
there, whilst she herself went back to feed, the 
two other black bears prowling round, but not 
daring to eat so long as the she-bear was at table. 
I photographed the mother and cub as they were 
crossing the geyserite, alarmed chiefly, I believe, 
by the stand camera and its black cloth. We 
heard that later a large cinnamon-bear, of whom 
all the others stand in awe, came down from the 
woods to the feast, but we did not see him, and 
by that time it was too dark to make any more 
photography possible. 

Next day we made a very early start — it is 
always cold here in the early mornings, and a 
great coat is a welcome addition to one's clothing. 
On the drive to the Upper Basin we saw a timber 
wolf which crossed the trail. He stayed a 
moment or two in the wood there, and then re- 
crossed, gazing at us wistfully before vanishing 
again, They are very fierce beasts, harmless by 
day, and never attacking man singly. But at 
night, and when they have the courage numbers 
give, a man could not meet with a much more 
unpleasant foe. They leap at him, snapping at 
each bound, and biting out, cleanly, a mouthful 
at each snap. We also saw a large fox with a 
splendid brush, darker in colour than our English 
breed, larger, too, and stronger looking. As we 
passed through the Upper Basin, none of the 
geysers were playing, but the whole plain was 
steaming, and looked most extraordinary. Soon 
after losing sight of this wonderful tract, we 



turned out of the main trail for some distance, 
to visit the " Lone Star " geyser, which kindly 
treated us to a fine eruption (vide Plates XVI. 
and XVI I.). I hope my photograph of the cone of 
this geyser will give some idea of its great beauty. 
We crossed the divide, and on this part of the 
drive I noticed first how the cracks on the pine 
trunks are almost all spiral ; and not only so, 
but almost invariably go from left to right, 
beginning from the root end, thus : — 

I asked the driver if he could explain this, but 
he only told me that he had often heard it 
debated, and that it was supposed to be due 
to the vibration of the tree under the prevailing 
wind. This does not seem to me to explain the 
direction of the screw at all, for if a wind blows 


on a tree it does not appear more likely to make 
a screw in one direction than in the other. Now 
and then I noticed a screw from right to left, but 
not more than six cases to over a hundred of the 
other. At first, I thought it might be due to the 
unequal heating of the trunks by the sun, and 
perhaps it is really caused by this ; and yet the 
sun scarcely reaches many of the trees in the 
wood, and it is difficult to see, if this is the cause, 
why there should be any exceptions, as the sun 
always heats the southern side most, and, 
moreover, always goes from east to west. I 
notice, too, that the cracks roughly form the 
boundaries of the continuations of each main 
root trunk up the body of the tree, so that the 
pine resembles a cord, the strands of which are 
twisted in a screw of very high pitch. This must 
evidently give wonderful play to the tree under 
any twisting forces, and make it able to bear the 
asymmetric heat of the sun — and consequent 
asymmetric expansion — without splitting, for 
every strand at some point of its course comes 
to the sunny side, so that the effect of the sun- 
shine is to make all the strands longer, and hence 
to make the tree taller on every side. Conversely, 
in winter time, contraction must knit the strands 
tightly together, and thus, probably, this spiral 
arrangement acts as a protection to the tree from 
the effects of both heat and cold, as well as of the 
wind. Now the effect of any force in nature is 
very often, though not always, such as to make 
the effect of a second application of the same 
force less than the effect of the first. For 
example, if a soft mass of clay is compressed in a 


mould by a series of equal blows from a hammer, 
the very compression produced by the first blow 
will make the clay more able to resist the second, 
and so on, until finally the blows produce no 
further effect. It follows, therefore, that where a 
system has taken a form by which it is able to 
resist certain forces, it is at least not unlikely that 
those very forces have caused the arrangement. 

Hence we may reasonably suppose that it is 
heat and possibly prevalent wind pressure which 
have caused this spiral arrangement, and further 
that the prevailing direction of the screw (right- 
handed as seen from the root looking up the axis 
of the tree) is due to some cause which affects all 
the trees alike — such as the rotation of the earth 
from west to east — and the fact that the trees I 
have examined are all in the Northern hemisphere. 
If this is the case, then most trees should have a 
left-handed screw in the Southern hemisphere. 1 
The few cases of left-handed screw observed, may 
very well be due to these trees being shaded by 
others or by rocks, &c, on their south side, and 
open to the reflected heat of the sun on their 
northern sides. As far as a hasty glance at the 
surroundings of two of these left-handed ones 
could tell, this hypothesis seems to tally fairly 
well with facts. But to explain the exact way in 
which the spiral is formed, even if one's conjecture 
as to the cause is correct, is not at all easy. The 
effect of heat in expanding the wood may be quite 
negligible in comparison with its drying effect, 
which would give, on the whole, a contraction ; 

1 The writer has not yet been able to get any information 
on this point. 


as the sun shines first on the east side of the 
trunk, and then on the south, and finally on the 
west, it might be supposed that the spiral would 
follow the course of the sun, but this is precisely 
what it does not generally do. 

I observed many hundreds of trees for the 
direction of their twist, before leaving America, 
both in Yellowstone Park, in California, in 
Colorado, and in the neighbourhood of New 
York, and though I find a very decided 
majority of what I call right-handed trees, like 
those here mentioned, yet in some places, notably 
on the way to Seven Lakes, above Loch Marie, 
in the Pikes Peak district, I came across large 
groups of left-handed specimens — and that too in 
all sorts of positions with respect to the slopes 
they grew on and their orientation. So that I 
cannot offer any explanation. These curious 
twists extend to the whole " grain " of the wood, 
and are important — since it is only those trees 
whose wood is free from twist which supply good 
timber ; and I was told by more than one back- 
woodsman, that the very first thing a woodcutter 
does when he wishes to fell a tree for timber, is to 
remove a piece of the bark and inspect the surface 
beneath for twist. If the cause of this spiral 
arrangement were therefore understood, it is 
likely that some treatment might be devised 
whereby its development might be prevented, 
or at least greatly reduced. I am personally 
inclined to believe that it must have its origin in 
the structure of the seed, and so perhaps be 
transmitted by a tree to its offspring. This 
would perhaps account for trees of similar twist 
so often occurring in groups. 


FTER leaving the " Lone Star" 
geyser, we drove up a lovely 
canon — Gibbon's, I think — and 
at its head saw for a few minutes 
the grand Teton Range (14,400 
feet), rising pale grey, but sharply 
defined, 75 miles away. Crossing the watershed 
again, we looked down for the first time on the 
broad and lovely Yellowstone Lake. Its waters 
were a light cobalt blue, backed by the picturesque, 
dusky red range of Absaroka Mountains, fully 
thirty miles off, one of the four great natural 
barriers of the " Park." Pine forests slope down 
to the yellow strand on every side. A patch or 
two of snow lay blue in the faint haze on the 
upper slopes of the distant hills, and scarcely 
darker gleamed tracts of geyserite at their feet 
Through the tree-tops belows us could be seen 
white canvas tents, and at a jetty, thrust out but 
a few feet into the water, lay a small steamer, the 
first (though I fear not the last) to float on these 

far-away, secluded waters. 



Lunch was served in one of the tents, and after 
visiting the mud volcanoes, and the hot springs of 
soft water which lie on the very margin of the 
lake, some of them indeed in it, we went aboard, 
leaving our driver to take the longer road to the 
hotel at the south end of the water. The sun was 
broiling hot, and the awning on the boat most 
welcome. Rapidly the tents and trees, the beach 
and pools, receded from us as we sped over this 
wonderful lake, 8,000 feet above the sea. If you 
look down into its water, it is the colour of 
summer fields of grass, and crowded with small, 
yellowish-green, gelatinous particles, which the 
captain said he believed were the pollen or seed 
of some water plant. These only appear in 
August, and are declared — according to the 
captain — by two well-known Professors, to be 
the pollen of the pines, which has been blown 
into the lake. I suppose the Professors did not 
give their opinion without duly examining the 
" pollen" microscopically, and if its identity with 
the pine product has been proved this way, no 
more remains to be said. Still the captain 
remains a sceptic. Whatever these little par- 
ticles may be, there is an astonishing number 
of them, for they seem to fill the whole lake, so 
far as we could see ; and I could not make out 
that they were any more numerous near the south 
shore and its pine forests, than further out — 
perhaps because a moderate south wind was 
blowing whilst we crossed. 

Yellowstone Lake possesses many attractions, 
not only lovely fjord-like arms, running far up 
towards the mountains, but several wooded islets, 


on one of which we landed. Before getting 
ashore, we could see an antelope walking along 
quietly by the water's edge, inspecting us — it 
seemed almost tame, though it was in a perfectly 
natural and wild condition, and had never been 
in captivity. When we landed, it retreated 
several yards, but then came slowly back, and 
allowed its nose to be stroked, but nQt its back ; 
at any attempt to do this, it showed a strong 
inclination, first to butt and kick, and then to run 
away altogether. There are wild elk and buffalo ; 
one of the latter — a huge old bull — lives in the 
same island. I got a photograph of him, and of 
one of the antelopes, through a wooden palisade 
put up to prevent mischief, if visitors prove 
unwelcome to these powerful creatures. As it 
was, the bull was in by no means a pleasant 
mood, and at the very moment at which my 
photograph was taken, he was meditating a 
charge, I believe, at some of the other visitors, 
Such splendid specimens are getting rare now, 
yet not so very many years ago the plains about 
here used to quake under the steps of tens of 
thousands of them, as they swept by in vast 
herds before the huntsman or the prairie fire. 
Hardly had we left the shore before we spied 
two large white birds sitting on the water some 
distance ahead ; at first I thought they were 
geese or swans, then their heads came into 
profile with their enormous beaks, and left no 
doubt as to their kind. They were pelicans, 
fishing for the trout with which these waters 
literally swarm. Fishermen are never disap 
pointed with Yellowstone Lake, and in one place 


a spring of boiling water, the crater round which 
actually rises from the marginal water of the lake, 
makes it possible and easy to cook your fish as 
soon as you have caught him. The pelicans rose 
from the lake as the steamer approached, and 
with lazy flappings flew off to a number of their 
kind which we could see standing idle, or fishing, 
or eyeing the water, or resting uncouthly in the 
sun, on the sandy shore of a promontory some 
six hundred yards away. 

Shortly after four o'clock we landed, and went 
exploring along the lake shore, picking up some 
interesting -looking pebbles, and gathering un- 
familiar flowers in the meadows hard by. There 
are many bears here too, which are fed as at the 
Fountain Hotel, but after dinner we had other 
things to do, and did not go out to see them. 
Two sturdy cubs lie in the back yard, tethered to 
poles. They drink and bathe in sunken water- 
buckets, and share one kennel. I heard that a 
lady, who, I suppose, over-estimated her courage, 
went up to play with one of these little creatures, 
and when the cub came running straight towards 
her, in sudden fear she backed into the bears' 
tub, at least half full of water, and that, too, not 
particularly clean ! I saw one of the cubs sitting 
in the tub, with its head just resting contentedly 
on the edge, an inch above the ground. It 
looked the very spirit of mischief. 

On Thursday morning we made our start for 
the Grand Canon. The road leads through pine 
forests the first part of the way, without any 
specially interesting object, until after passing a 
hot spring on the left (which used, so they say, 


to be a mud geyser), the mud volcano is reached 
on the same side. It is a place which would be 
horrible to any one the least superstitious, and to 
the most matter-of-fact person, the thought of the 
fate which would befall him should a false step or 
treacherous ground cast him into the crater, must 
greatly strengthen the impression the funereal 
colouring of the pit cannot fail to make. It lies 
on the side of the hill, the ground having fallen 
in to a depth of forty or fifty feet. In the lowest 
part of that side of the crater which is most 
deeply cut into the hill is a very dark cave ; 
the floor of this is of boiling mud {vide Plate 
XVIII.), the consistency of rather thick mortar. 
Every few seconds this heaves up into a large 
convex kind of bubble, which the imprisoned steam 
blows to pieces with a muffled explosion. The 
mud is projected more or less violently forwards, 
part on to the opposite side of the crater, which 
is thus kept moist and sticky, while part falls 
with a sloshy noise into the mud coils which form 
the level floor. Every eight or ten minutes this 
monster has paroxysms, when its dull thunder 
may be heard for a quarter of a mile, and ground 
shakes all round its mouth. It is condemned to 
swallow its own mud, until the restless Fire Spirit 
below grows cold, and the volcano's throat is 
choked by the solidification of what it has ejected. 
A short distance away is a spring, which repeats 
exactly the action of the mud volcano, only in 
this case what is thrown out is not mud but 
water, and this little water volcano is on a very 
much smaller scale. 

Before reaching the canon, the road runs 


between low, rounded hills, almost devoid of 
trees, formed of clay, with water-worn stones, 
and occasionally carved into well-defined terraces. 
The placid river shows no sign of what is 
coming, until just before you enter the rather 
insignificant gorge, which is really the beginning 
of the canon. There its waters suddenly break 
into rapids. Between the pines you look down 
on large rocks lying in lines across the river bed, 
with the stream flowing fast between them. 
Then comes more foam, and then a ledge of 
water, over which the river seems to disappear 
into space (vide Plate XIX., which shows the 
corresponding ledge of water seen from the 
approach to the Lower Fall), for the eye catches 
sight of nothing beyond but a comparatively 
distant fir- and pine-clad cliff. The roar of the 
Upper Fall — which lies here — breaks on the ear, 
and a minute later, as you pass over a trestle 
bridge above a graceful cascade made by one of 
the Yellowstone's small tributaries, a first view of 
the upper part of the marvellous canon greets 
you ; enough is seen to arouse keen expectation, 
and then it is practically hidden by the thickly 
clustered pines, and so to the hotel. 

Directly after lunch we walked down to Look- 
Out Point, and though the view from this 
favourite spot is not so comprehensive as that 
from Inspiration Point, or from some of the 
others near, it is a great deal more than the 
mind can grasp, even after prolonged gazing and 
mental measurement of heights and distances. 
Far below where we stand, five young eagles 
are sitting in their nest which crowns a vertical 

, - 

4 ^TTL^..... -. *W* 


,aiv ^1 


^^^ ^ . 




f^ ' 


1 "**i 


N^. ^9 



pillar of rock, part of a ridge several hundreds of 
feet high — one of the many buttresses which 
support the tremendous thrust the walls of this 
wonderful gulf must exert. One of the parent 
birds is flying in great circles in the canon air, 
so clear that it makes it impossible to judge 
accurately of the distance of those seamed 
mountain walls which tower up to our own 
level just opposite. The white head and dark- 
brown back of the other bird are to be seen 
almost vertically under our look-out point, where 
it sits, still as a statue, on the top of a tall bare 
pine trunk, foreshortened so, that — but for the 
length of its shadow — it might rise only a few 
feet above the soil. The eagle is watching 
intently the deep blue waters of the Yellowstone 
River, as they flow with a sullen, distant roar 
over the rocks which have fallen to the lowest 
depths. On the right, embedded in the very 
heart of the shadows into which the sun — already 
sinking — throws these giant cliffs and pinnacles, 
lies the Lower Fall (Plate XX.), in reality a 
broad white pyramid of foam near four hundred 
feet high, but dwarfed and coloured by distance 
to a dash of faint blue, below a finest line of 
twinkling gold, in sombre azure setting. 

On the left, in a glare such as you must see to 
believe, with the sunshine falling full on them, 
rise Titanic walls, parapets, turreted castles, 
spires, and towers — their foundations in the 
shadows now creeping along the river and up 
the sides, while their upper steeps are all of 
glowing yellow and dazzling white, with here and 
there a sweep of palest apple-green. Half-way 


down their hues deepen into orange, red, and the 
crimson of blood ; whilst in places groups of pines 
— looking little higher than bushes — relieve and 
intensify, with their dark foliage, the weird tints 
of their mother soil. 

Slowly the evening shadows climb the radiant 
wall, as they have done for countless years past; 
the eagles gather to their nests, whilst, as the 
twilight deepens, bears, woodchucks, ground hogs, 
and other beasts of prey, prowl amongst the trees 
on the crumbling slopes as of old ; and all night 
long the rocks reverberate the ceaseless, ancient 
voice of troubled waters, ever lengthening and 
deepening their age-long work. Few are the 
scenes which last in memory, even through our 
brief span of life, but I think the Yellowstone 
Canon is one, — so savage and unearthly in its 
colouring, so gigantic in its proportions, so utterly 
indifferent to, and independent of, man. (Plate 
XXI. The canon from the brink of the Lower 
Fall — looking down the valley.) 

That night we felt thankful that we had set 
aside a spare day to be devoted to the canon ; 
and by next evening still more so, after viewing 
the Lower Fall from its brink (Plate XXII.), and 
from a rock about a third of the way down the 
side of the canon, to say nothing of the grand 
drive to Inspiration Point. 

On the drive from the canon to Mammoth Hot 
Springs, although the scenery is pretty and in- 
teresting almost all the way, there is not very 
much to record. Virginia Cascade, a long water 
slide in a small canon, looked lovely in the 
morning light ; and in the border of the wood 


we spied a black-tailed deer. We spent some 
time at the Norris Basin, but the " Monarch" 
had played in the night, as the wetness of the 
ground all round the geyser showed. The 
11 Vixen " I watched awhile, her short, spasmodic 
outbreaks recurring every fifty seconds. Between 
the Norris Basin and Mammoth Springs I photo- 
graphed the Beaver Lodge and dams (Plate 
XXIII., which shows the dams running right 
across the northern end of the Lake), in this 
case made of mud and grass firmly plastered 
down ; and, on reaching the Mammoth Hotel, 
spent several plates on Pulpit (Plate XXIV.) 
and Minerva Terraces (Plates XXV. and 
XXVI.). The light was bad for the latter, 
and I fear, in spite of the yellow screens, 
there will be a sad lack of contrast in the 

We both admired the terraces on this second 
inspection much more than at first, and thought 
that our guide had missed conducting us to the 
most beautiful parts of the formation when first 
we visited them. 

After a great hurry-scurry of packing, and a 
desperate attempt to get some food, we ascended 
the coach steps, and in two hours, in the dusk, 
reached Cinnabar. There the Y. P. Transport 
Co. hurled our baggage out on to the far end of 
the platform, whilst the railway officials refused to 
move it nearer the office, as they said it was not 
their business ; however, after a few remarks on 
both sides, and some kind help from an indignant 
American fellow-passenger, I got it checked just 
as our train for the West was moving off, and 


once again we settled down to the comparative 
quiet of the train for four days. 

The first part of the way lay through wild and 
sometimes beautiful country, almost uninhabited, 
the hills for the most part being bare, and not 
very high. Often we skirted the sandy shores of 
a large river, edged with brushwood and stunted 
firs ; but before Portland, where the weather was 
very hot, we began to enter the magnificent 
forests of the West. At Hope's Fork, where our 
river joined the Columbia, the scenery was ex- 
quisite, and the lake one placid sheet of gold 
under a wonderful sunset sky. 

Early next morning the train ran on to a ferry, 
and we crossed the Columbia in the same way as 
we had previously crossed the Mississippi, on the 
wide ferry-boat. The Shasta route proved rather 
disappointing on account of the forest fires, which 
had engendered such vast volumes of smoke that 
for miles the view had no distance in it, and the 
sun only just showed through as a deep blood- 
coloured disc. It was very hot too ; even in the 
observation car, which is open on both sides, a 
dry, hot wind blew. Evening overtook us as we 
were slipping down a deep wooded valley, along- 
side a brawling mountain stream, fed partly by 
the medicinal springs of Shasta ; and on each side 
a thick growth of huge pines, firs, and underwood, 
including bushes red with gooseberries, the little 
branches quite borne down with ripe fruit, all the 
more tempting because we could not get at them, 
and, I am bound to add, from the fact that all the 
food provided on the train was execrably mouldy. 

On Wednesday morning, under a gloomy sky 


and a cold breeze, I had my first glimpse of the 
Pacific ; not, indeed, of the open ocean, but of 
the long, almost land-locked, bay of San Francisco, 
whose entrance is the world-famed " Golden Gate." 
The water here was brown, streaked with yel- 
lowish-green, and small leaden breakers curled in 
on the wide and flat mud shore. The train 
rapidly rounded one little headland after another, 
the sea becoming greener and then more blue, till 
Oakland, from the railway a most uninteresting- 
looking manufacturing town, broke upon us. 

In the station we got out, walked by a broad, 
covered way on to the large steamboat ferry, and 
for a quarter of an hour were crossing the green 
waters of the Bay to 'Frisco itself. We felt the 
change of temperature keenly after our late broiling 
suns ; and though, I expect, the thermometer was 
not below 50 F., it seemed like winter. Every 
one was warmly dressed. 

San Francisco struck me at once as a fine 
city. It lies at the bottom and all up one side 
of a rather steep hill, and the wide, white streets, 
running as straight as lines can up this hill, give 
it a curiously streaked look when seen from the 
sea. It is far more countrified than New York 
or Chicago, and the cobbles in the streets are the 
worst I have seen in any town or village. Driving 
is made still worse by the level square crossings 
of the car lines, but the streets themselves are 
very wide, airy, and spotlessly clean, and the 
buildings fine and tall. The traffic produced no 
inconvenient crowding either, nor did the people 
seem particularly intent on any business. 

They say this city is always cool, and that this 


is caused by a cold current which hugs the coast 
all the way down from Alaska. Perhaps this is 
part of the warm Japan current which has become 
cooled far up in the North, and which, after re- 
turning South, down these far Western coasts, is 
drifted by winds to the West, again joining the 
Black Current of Japan (Karo Sivo), and so 
completing a vast circulation of water akin to the 
Gulf Stream. We bumped along to the Palace 
Hotel, a very fine building and very large. H. 
set to work to rearrange luggage, whilst I paid 
visits to ticket-offices, bank, and Kahn's, a photo- 
grapher, where I gave an order for four dozen of 
Seed's well-known plates to replenish my fast 
diminishing store. This done, we took the car 
to the Park and Cliff House. The former is very 
beautifully laid out in wide gravel drives, with 
noble borders, planted with all kinds of shrubs, 
trees and flowers. Many of them reminded us of 
home as we walked along, but, pressed for time, 
we could not stay long, and reserved a closer 
inspection for our second visit, which was duly 
paid some days later, when we visited the aviaries, 
by far the best I know of, and some of the animal 

Cliff House looks out over the Pacific ; the 
breakers were rolling in grandly on the sandy 
beach, throwing up clouds of spray near the seal 
rocks. These last are a few mewstones, and 
their ledges are thickly covered with large brown 
seals, most lying lazily, but one or two with their 
heads raised high in the air, sometimes waving 
them from side to side like captive polar bears. 
After dinner, at which an orchestra played, we 


returned to 'Frisco by the electric car, with its 
clever overhead wire and fishing-rod contact 
maker, and leaving the heavy luggage behind, 
crossed the water to Oakland, and there took the 
cars for Yosemite. 

By break of day we were at Raymond, a small 
country station, with an inn opposite. Thence 
we started, when we had had breakfast, in a 
covered little " Surrey " for Wawona, which we 
reached after an exhausting and dusty drive of 
forty-four miles, uphill almost all the way. In 
the first ten miles or so, we saw bluebirds, mag- 
pies, scores of squirrels and " chipmunks " (as 
they pronounce them), some very tiny birds — the 
smallest I have ever seen — a kind of wren ; red- 
crested woodpeckers too, which make holes in the 
trees and fill them with acorns, one to each hole : 
the grubs come from the trees into the acorns, 
the industrious pecker visits the holes from time 
to time, and when the acorn is inhabited picks 
out the worm and eats it. We saw one bird 
flying with the acorn in its mouth, and many of 
the holes already filled. Very long-eared hares 
and rabbits we also met with, and renewed our 
acquaintance with the ground chuck. 

The country, so far, was a series of gently 
rounded low hills, covered with a shallow soil 
from decomposed granite, on which grew 
hundreds of ilex and oak trees, with thin grass 
and many flowers between them. Michaelmas 
daisies and sunflowers were the commonest. 
Next, came higher hills with many gold mines, 
some now unused but most in full work, with 
clusters of log-huts and rather pretty-looking 


lodges near them. Grub Gulch is the largest we 
passed. After lunch at a most charming country 
inn, and a change of horses, we began a seem- 
ingly never-ending hill ; and about three o'clock 
struck timber, not to leave it during our whole 
stay in Yosemite. Of all the many wonderful 
and beautiful things this tour has already shown 
us, perhaps none will live more vividly in 
memory than these aged pine forests, which 
dwarf the road to a mere pony path, and often 
rise with never a bough or leaf for a hundred and 
fifty feet on both sides of the way, like the pillars 
of some vast cathedral, and then break into 
graceful foliage almost meeting overhead. Thus 
we could drive in deep cool shade on the hottest 
days. Morning and evening, shafts of light 
penetrate the lattice of the leaves in places, 
picking out, here the lovely fronds of some young 
silver pine, there the graceful fringes of a cedar. 
The many different species prevent any feeling 
of weariness : perhaps the sugar pine is the 
finest of all, with its dark tufts and its huge 
cones ; but it is very difficult to decide. Anything 
more exquisite than some of the young cedars I 
never saw ; and even after driving hour after hour 
through the woods we still gazed untired, and 
could not repress exclamations of wonder and 
delight, as bends in the winding road showed ever 
new vistas of beauty. Of the road itself — 
especially of the descent to Wawona — the less 
said the better. One of the awning supports, a 
piece of very fair cast-iron more than a quarter of 
an inch thick, broke off short from the jolting, and 
I fancy that if we had either of us been weak, we 


should have experienced what our American 
cousins call " car sickness." We executed every 
kind of known motion, short of spinning round, 
and wondered at the strength of the lightly built 
wheels, which had, however, as many as twenty 
spokes each ; and so, just before sunset, we rattled 
down the last sandy slope, and found ourselves 
among the fountains and gardens of sunny 
Wawona. That evening, in a cellar, I changed 
my plates and arranged with the kind and 
genial host how we had best spend our time in 


EXT morning early we started 
again, this time in an open 
" Surrey," for the twenty-seven 
miles drive to Sentinel Hotel, 
which lies in the heart of Yose- 
mite Valley : we chose an open 
" Surrey," as it is really important, on this road, to 
be able to see uninterruptedly what lies above, as 
well as in front and on both sides of the carriage. 
The trail lies along the sides of the Sierras' 
outliers, and until Inspiration Point is reached 
the views may all be described in one word — 
trees. The rich brown pine trunks in the fore- 
ground frame the pictures, the bark of some of 
them golden yellow with lichen : there are trees 
in mid-distance, countless spires of green and 
silver; trees far away, hills and mountains of 
them, all detail lost in the blue of the air and the 
haze of the forest fires, so that only the fine 
serrated sky-line betrays that they are there. In 
places the hill-sides are covered with fallen giants, 
the trunks crossing each other at every conceiv- 




o H 

U £ 



able angle, most of them stripped bare of bark. 
The cold greys of these withered glories of the 
forest make the foliage of the rising generation 
glow all the more brightly. The wheels squeak 
and groan under the heavy brake, as we descend 
some steep slope where the road is broken into 
holes, not to mention ruts a foot deep, and large 
stones concealed by the orange dust. Deep glades 
open at every turn — banks of the coolest shade — 
and out of the ground, overstrewn with slippery 
pine needles and clusters of cones, arise the 
blackened stumps of the victims of forest fires, 
taking the shape of long-eared rabbit or begging 
bear, objects quite startling in the gloom. 

But the gorge below us is becoming steeper and 
grander, the trees along the edge of the road less 
and less thickly clustered, and presently, as the 
driver pulls up on a little knoll of rock and grass, 
the glorious Yosemite lies spread out before us 
(Plate XXVII.). We are scarcely in the valley 
itself, so that distance softens the whole view, blend- 
ing into one harmony of colour the stark pinnacles 
and precipices, the bleak far-off peaks, the gleaming 
streak of waterfall, and the cool, broad forests, 
deep in which the mountains on either side bury 
their feet. In one glance at such a sight the 
discoverers must have forgotten all their toil ; and 
as a man gazes on this valley, so old and yet 
ever young — on its walls, scarred and lined where 
the ages have written its history in yet almost 
unknown characters and language — on its forests, 
descendants through generations of centuries of 
those on which the towers and cliffs first looked 
down, he seems to see before him the long-lost 


Garden of Eden, and to hear the echoes still 
lingering over those ever thrilling words : " God. 
saw everything that He had made, and behold it 
was very good." 

To me this particular view of Yosemite re- 
called the Norwegian Naerodal (vide Plate 
XXVIII.) ; that far-famed valley is the only 
one I have seen which will at all bear com- 
parison with it, and though there certainly is a 
likeness, and that too in more points than one, 
the two are so far different in general character, 
that to see one would not make it possible to 
picture the other. In both, the ice of now 
perished glaciers has given to mountain-tops a 
regular dome-like form; perhaps the "Jordal- 
snut " takes the palm for perfection of geometrical 
shape, its graceful curve from head to foot 
making it impossible to say with certainty where 
the curve of the dome itself begins or where it 
ends, and whereas it is of pale violet Labradorite, 
the domes of the Yosemite are of a light yellow 
granite. The actual depth of both valleys is 
about the same, but the Naerodal is much 
narrower, and this makes the valley, as seen from 
Stalheim, look much deeper than the Yosemite 
viewed from Inspiration Point. In both the walls 
are of almost completely bare rock. 

El Capitan is represented in the Naerodal by 
the tremendous precipice on the right of the 
dale, the Kaldafjeld ; but this latter is not so 
clean cut, so frowning, nor so perpendicular as 
the gigantic cliff which guards the left of the 
entrance to the Californian valley. El Capitan, 
in fact, is in places more than perpendicular, — it 

C9 X " 

X H s 


overhangs. Then again, the Norwegian valley is 
but seven or eight miles long, whereas Yosemite is 
over seventeen ; but whereas the American dale 
ends in a cul-de-sac of very distant lofty jagged 
peaks, the wondrous half-dome cutting the 
eastern sky just to the left of them, its form 
completed in the North dome to the left again, 
the Norwegian dale becomes a magnificent fjord, 
the line of precipices, as seen from Stalheim, 
turning a corner behind which they are lost to 

Strangely enough both valleys boast four 
waterfalls, and in both, from the finest point of 
view, but one can be seen. In the Norwegian it 
lies in the distance, just over where the fjord 
begins, a thin white streak. On the other hand, 
the fall in Yosemite, visible from this point, is a 
strikingly beautiful feature of the view. On the 
right, and fairly near, this " Bridal Veil," as it is 
called, descends in a graceful line of sparkling 
foam, all but a thousand feet sheer. It is set in 
dark bare rock, and in the cloud of spray which 
borders the veil, the afternoon sun kindles a maze 
of rainbow colours. Perhaps this fall is most 
beautiful in the dry season, when the wind is 
playing with it, waving it from side to side, now 
spreading it out like a many-rayed fan, now holding 
it up suspended altogether in the air for a 
moment, only to let it loose again in one long fall 
of exquisitely pointed lace work. 

On the opposite side of the valley, and further 
off, is the second cataract, of a different character 
altogether. Down the central line of a wild 
gorge, cut wide and deep into the main wall of 


granite, which here is at least three thousand 
feet from base to summit, leaps the Yosemite 
river in two great bounds, from where the 
deep blue sky shows over the scarred edge, to 
the slope of debris with which frost, wind, and 
rain have hidden the lowest part of the cliff. 
Between the falls lies a large pool of water in 
a hollow to which the curious may descend by 
a zigzag path, and from which the finest view 
of the upper cascade is to be had. 

A grand sight it must be when the river is 
full, and all the valley resounds with the din of 
the heavy waters. In a storm, when the wind 
rages up the gorge in mighty gusts, it sometimes 
holds up in the air, for a second or two, even this 
great torrent ; and then, men say that above the 
roar of the tempest, and the hissing of the pines 
bowing before the blasts, can be heard the thunder 
of the pent-up waters as they tear asunder the 
air, and, gathering might in their descent, furiously 
hurl themselves into the dark caldron. How 
different the tiny thread of silver, slowly 
threading its way amongst piled-up rocks blazing 
in the hot sun ; and the gentle murmuring of the 
little stream, gliding over the rounded stones, 
playing hide-and-seek amongst the boulders, until 
it flows noiselessly into the river Merced meander- 
ing through the meadows and woods which cover 
the floor of the great valley. So it was when I 
saw it : but the water-marks on the side of the 
grim precipice, and the wide bed of the stream, 
tell their own tale ; and even if there had been 
no photographs to help, it would not have been 
difficult to picture what this fall is in its strength. 


The other two waterfalls, the Nevada and the 
Vernal, are also invisible from Inspiration Point — 
hidden by projections from the right side of the 
dale ; they, too, are fine sights, and we explored 
them thoroughly later. And so we take leave of 
this first view of Yosemite, and again drive on 
down the increasingly steep road, craning our 
necks first to the left to El Capitan, and then to 
the right, where the Cathedral rocks and towers 
rise in red pinnacles and battlements till their 
topmost crags are almost vertically overhead. 

Once arrived in the valley, the photographer is 
indeed hard put to it. Everything is so enormous, 
so hopelessly out of reach of any ordinary wide- 
angle lens, that time after time he gives up in 
despair the attempt to get a picture of scenery he 
longs to show to folks at home. The twin 
Cathedral spires, indeed, I took, with the ground 
glass anything but vertical, and I also got a view 
of El Capitan, rising like a rampart of heaven, 
dim and distant behind the pines ; but the photo- 
graph, alas ! will not give its colour, the palest of 
yellow greys, nor the silver radiance of the edge 
glistening in the sunshine. 

About five o'clock we reached the Sentinel 
Hotel ; and in a few minutes were driving 
towards the upper end of the valley, to get a 
general idea of the lie of the two minor valleys 
which run into the main, one on the right, and 
one on the left. We passed the spot where once 
stood another hotel, now burnt down, and, from 
just by the site, I took a photograph of the left 
valley, with the Dome on one side, and Mount 
Watkin (named after one of the most celebrated 


of early American photographers) in the centre ; 
on the other side, but not included in the picture, 
rises Cloud's Rest and the Half Dome. At the 
foot of the latter, hidden by trees, nestles Mirror 
Lake. The view all round from this spot is 
magnificent. Turning further to the right, the 
Cap of Liberty imitates, on a smaller scale, the 
precipices of the Half Dome ; then follows the 
Nevada Fall ; then the stupendous face of Glacier 
Point ; and, with the Royal Arches, which are 
enormous curved recesses in a naked, unbroken 
precipice of nearly 3,000 feet, we come round to 
the South Dome again. 

By this time the sun is low in the west, all 
the cliffs on one side lie in shade, yet not dark, 
for the golden glow on their rivals opposite lights 
them up awhile with a strange and wonderful 
orange light — but the army of shadows is scaling 
the heights, gaining one summit after another, 
till the last crimson flush fades from Half Dome 
and Cloud's Rest. The arch of night steals 
quickly up the eastern sky, soon it is overhead, 
then far down in the west where a bar of amber 
light is all that is left to tell of another bright day 
gone. Happy Island we did not visit — just now 
Miserable Isle would be a more fitting name, for 
a sudden fall of hundreds of tons of rock from the 
top of the precipice over it has buried its trees 
and ferns and flowers in dust seven inches deep ; 
so we drove to the foot of the Yosemite fall, and 
then made for our hotel, charmingly placed on 
the very bank of the river, into whose cool, clear 
waters we look down from the balcony outside our 


Rising betimes at seven o'clock, we drove 
rapidly in the chilly morning air along the sandy 
roads to the foot of the Cloud's Rest trail, which 
begins near the once Happy Garden, and becomes 
steep directly. The guide rides a horse, H. a black 
mule, and I a bay, whilst a white specimen of the 
same obstinate species carries our lunch and the 
camera. The guide goes first leading the pack 
mule, which needs constant attention ; then 
follows H., whilst I bring up the rear. Switches 
are necessary for all. The trail is a very dusty 
path, but never less than a yard and generally a 
good six feet wide, and in Norway would be 
called a carriage road ; it winds upwards in bold 
zig-zags, and first gives beautiful views of the 
Vernal, then of the Nevada falls. Perhaps the 
outlook is finest just as you climb the side of the 
latter. The valley is seen framed on the right 
by the smooth precipices of the Cap of Liberty, 
which run down in very massive folds of granite 
and disappear into the pine-tops far below ; and on 
the left, by the dashing water of the fall itself. 

At the top of the Nevada we dismounted to 
rest the mules, and to look at the fall from a rock 
which juts out a little over it. All about this 
spot are huge ice-polished rocks, and perched far 
up on the top of a cliff we could just make out 
Glacier Point Hotel, where we hoped to sleep 
the next night. A dead rattlesnake lay in a 
shallow hole in the rocks, and reminded us of 
their presence. This is the season when they 
are most dangerous, for being sleepy they make 
no attempt to get out of your way, and if by 
accident you step on one, it strikes at once. I 


saw a photograph of a man who had been bitten 
in the arm not many days ago, taken since then. 
He sucked the wound well, and then made for a 
camp as fast as he could, hoping to find some 
brandy or whiskey. The campers gave him all 
they had, but it was not enough, so he ran for 
dear life to a second camping-ground ; there too, 
though he could not get a really large dose, he 
left behind not a drop. Finally, however, he 
gained the hotel and its unlimited supplies, and 
there drank so much that he nearly died from 
alcoholic poisoning. Beyond the fact that the 
swelling of the bitten arm has not yet quite 
gone down, and that he still is suffering from 
headache, he has all but recovered. 

Again mounted, for an hour or two we 
ascended more zig-zags, the trees growing thinner 
and the undergrowth thicker and thicker. From 
the final slopes the Half Dome is a superb object, 
rising in the most stately way imaginable, like 
some huge monolith (Plate XXIX.). From this 
side, too, it has lost its dis-symmetry, and seems 
perfectly inaccessible. Books, however, tell the 
story of the first ascent made by a man * who 
constructed a giddy staircase of iron spikes, one 
by one, steeple-jack fashion, using the last to 
stand on as he drove in the next. 

The top of Cloud's Rest, which is nearly 10,000 
feet above sea-level, is an almost flat tableland, 
covered with large granite blocks, very like the 
summit of Fanaraak, in the Norwegian Jotunheim. 
It is interesting to see how the granite weathers 
into similar shapes in countries wide apart. 

1 George G. Anderson, a Scotchman, of Montrose. This 
first ascent was made in October, 1875. 


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Many of the granite outcrops we have seen in 
America are facsimiles of those in the Scilly Isles, 
and on the Cornish coast. The profile of the 
High Sierra and of the granite mountains near 
Livingstone are exactly like those of the Scotch 
Isle of Arran, also of granite. 

The view from Cloud's Rest is very wonderful, 
and of extraordinary interest to a geologist, as it 
shows what land is like when it has only lately 
emerged from an ice sheet. Restore the glaciers 
which once crawled slowly down the shallow 
valleys between the peaks, or lay quietly in the 
cirques or "botns," and you have the Norwegian 
Jotunfjeld of to-day. No glaciers are visible 
from either Cloud's Rest or Glacier Point, yet it 
is but a short time, geologically speaking, since 
they were there, and it will not be long, in the 
same sense, before the rounded granite bosses 
are disintegrated into a soil deep enough to 
support the stunted vegetation capable of living 
at this high altitude. 

The camera came into play both for a group of 
peaks of the High Sierra, and also for the hazy 
Yosemite, still wrapped in drifting smoke of the 
forest fires near its entrance — fires, by the way, 
which my guide and others attributed to an 
incendiary (Plate XXIX.). A cloud, which has 
been gradually rising since the early hours of the 
morning, now makes it necessary to secure views 
quickly, if they are to be taken at all. Lunch 
follows, with the sun and wind beating upon us, 
and then we turn down the trail through the 
rocks, and rejoin the patient mules tethered 
below. Then the long descent begins, and it is 



dusk when, after twelve hours of fairly hard 
work, we regain our hotel. 

About eight o'clock next morning we drove to 
Mirror Lake to see the sun rise over the Half 
Dome, and to enjoy the reflections of mountain, 
cliff, and wood in the water, which at this hour is 
generally without a ripple. The road runs right 
up to and along the western shore, and the most 
beautiful view is the first, which greets you quite 
unexpectedly. The sun had, of course, long risen 
on the surrounding country, only the blue preci- 
pices of the Half Dome shroud the little lake in 
shadow, so that the reflected picture has plenty of 
sunlight in its distances to relieve the deep shades 
of the foreground. All is quiet, the birds still 
asleep, the mirror so perfect that in the camera 
the picture (which, as every one knows, is 
inverted) for once seems the right way up. A 
foot or two below you lies moist dark-red sand, 
then the water, broken by boulders of picturesque 
shapes and colours. Here rests a fallen tree, 
there a tangle of brushwood, every twig and leaf 
pictured below (Plate XXX.). Further away 
stretches a wide sheet of light azure crystal ; 
already crane are wading in the shallows on the 
far shore ; presently, one with lazy flapping flight 
makes for some more lonely spot. Now some 
wild-duck are taking their morning bath. Over 
the mountain on the right the light is brightening : 
the sun's rays glisten on the dew which hangs 
from leaves low down near the water. A few 
minutes pass, and the brilliant edge of the King 
of Day rides above the edge of yonder curved 
summit, and in an instant all is bathed in glorious 


light and warmth. It is this sudden change which 
makes it so well worth while visiting the lake at 
this particular hour, and it must be seen to be 

We drove back past the hotel, and to the foot 
of the trail to Glacier Point. No one should 
think he knows Yosemite until he has ridden or 
walked up at least one of the trails. It is from 
these that the valley is seen to the greatest 
advantage. Viewed from its floor, the fore- 
shortening of the upper part of the cliffs is too 
great to be appreciated, and so makes them 
appear much lower than they really are ; but from 
about half-way up one side of the gorge, the 
opposite wall shows its true proportions, whilst 
the pictures are exquisitely framed by pine and 
oak, or by the bold lines of the scarred mountain 

The trail we are taking is even better than 
yesterday's, and the views as we near the top are 
wonderful in every direction. The bottom of the 
valley lies far below, spread out like some ex- 
quisitely coloured map. Of course the difficulty 
of estimating fore-shortening operates from the 
top, in making it very hard to judge difference of 
level of objects far below you in the floor of the 
valley, and so it appears much flatter than it is in 
reality. The mules rest at nearly every corner of 
the crooked path, giving their riders time to take 
in the successive pictures. Near the summit the 
ascent becomes less steep, and then leads at one 
level through the pine woods, still, however, 
keeping to the brink of the precipice ; then it 
slightly rises again, and very soon after this the 


modest little Glacier Point Hotel comes into 
sight, and with it the unique and superb prospect 
over the High Sierras (Plates XXXI. and 

The central point of interest is the Nevada 
Fall, to which the eye invariably comes back, after 
roaming over the miles and miles of forest and 
barest rock scenery embraced in this one grand 
panorama. Under a noontide sun and cloudless 
sky, in spite of the waterfall, the pines, and the 
few shrunken snow patches at the foot of the 
distant peaks, it appeared the most parched and 
thirsty landscape I have ever seen. No lakes 
are visible, though at least one of considerable 
size — Tenieya — lies hidden away at the foot of the 
strikingly shaped peak of the same name ; and 
though unseen from here, in the heart of the 
many valleys, all along the streams which flow 
from the melting snows, are green strips of land, 
gardens of flowers in early summer, as refreshing 
to the eye as are the cold rivers themselves to the 
parched throat of the traveller. But none of 
these are seen from Glacier Point, unless by 
turning to the left one happens to catch a glimpse 
of a dark indigo-looking pool, the mirror lake we 
visited this morning. 

At this time of day there is no shade in 
the picture ; it is at its worst. But wait till 
evening, and view it in the radiance of sunset — 
half the thirsty sea of granite hidden in cool blue 
shadows, the other rosy red with transparent 
purple depths, whilst the sharp peaks, all aflame 
with vermilion, blaze against a sky of pink and 
amber, which fast-coming night has already 


begun to invade. Or again, stay overnight as 
we did, and see the dark-blue broken line of 
distant peaks clean cut against the dawn. Watch 
the long shadows of these monarchs of the Sierra 
as the rising sun flings them across the sky, the 
ever clasped fingers of the Night and Day, and, 
if such things appeal to you at all, you will never 
forget the sight as long as you live. After lunch 
we rode on mules, first to the Fissures, which are, 
in climbing language, very long, narrow chimneys, 
most likely eroded by the weather, in the sides of 
the Cathedral rocks. There are some half-dozen 
of these, one blocked not far from the top by 
masses of granite, which have been thrown into 
it. Through the rest you can look down hundreds 
of feet either on lower slopes of the same cliff, or 
on the diminutive meadows, the river and trees 
lying far below in the depths of the valley. Or, 
if the dizzy height does not affect you, you can 
stand out on the edge of some overhanging rock, 
and look vertically down a thousand feet at the 
spires of rock still two-thirds of the way up the 
precipice, as they rise towards you. If you drop 
a small stone over the edge, and watch it as it 
falls, it grows smaller and smaller and disappears 
altogether before striking bottom ; and in places, 
fully ten seconds elapse before the sound of the 
impact reaches your ear, counting from the instant 
when you let the stone go. This gives for the 
depth of fall nearly 1,600 feet. 

On the return ride we visited Sentinel Dome, 
with a fine view of the valley, and reached Glacier 
Point just in time to see a small cinnamon bear 
lurking behind the pigstye and poultry-houses. 


This, they told us was not a frequent visitor by 
any means, though there are many bears, including 
grizzlies, in the high country beyond Yosemite. 
Two or three of the men ran out to try and find 
young Bruin, who had quickly disappeared, but 
could only trace him for a short distance. 

In the evening, by the aid of a paraffin lantern, 
we walked to the Glacier Point, and sitting on a 
rock there, waited, whilst our guide lit the fuse of 
a carefully constructed bomb of blasting powder, 
and then hastily lowered it, fizzing and sputtering, 
by a long cord over the edge of the precipice. 
We stopped our ears carefully till the explosion 
had happened — which could be felt as well as 
heard — and then opening them, waited for the 
echo. It came with a crash and a roar, first from 
a point on the left, and rumbled along the wall of 
cliffs to the right, where from the two domes it 
resounded with the redoubled vigour of deep- 
toned thunder, rolling away in the distance as the 
waves of sound dashed themselves against the 
unseen array of peaks and precipices which sur- 
rounded us in the dark. Twice we awoke these 
wonderful echoes, and then groped our way back 
to the hotel well satisfied with what we had heard. 
If the ears are not stopped during the actual 
explosion, they are so far deafened, that they 
cannot hear the grand echo to advantage. It is, 
besides, much better heard at night when all is 
still, and reveals to the ear the immensity of the 
unseen scenery around, much as light shows it 
to the eye. 

It was cold at night, but this was easily warded 
off, and in the morning about eight o'clock we 

3 3 

° - ^ 































both felt sorry to leave the homely welcome and 
excellent fare we enjoyed during our short visit. 
The long drive to Wawona lay through forests 
for the most part, but I got a fine photograph of 
Cloud's Rest, which looks every inch a mountain 
from this road. The first part of it affords a 
magnificent view of the southern peaks of the 
Sierra Nevada. By one o'clock we were once 
more in Wawona, and after lunch drove to see 
the big trees, of which there are four groves in 
the district, the Merced, Tuolumne, Calaveras, and 
Mariposa. It was the last named we visited. 
The road at first is the same weary and dusty 
one by which we came to Wawona, and slowly 
indeed did we climb it in the hottest part of the 
day. Soon after passing the " black hare," one 
of whose ears had decayed off and had been 
nailed on again, came the turning to the left, 
with its large signboard " To the Mariposa 

The excitement grew as we drove along, but 
the big trees were further off than we had thought. 
Meantime it seemed hard to imagine any much 
larger or statelier than some of the sugar pines we 
passed, yet when the turn of a corner showed us 
the two " Guardians" at the end of the road so far 
as we could see it, these pines, and much more 
all others, seemed visibly to shrink in comparison. 
It is this growing small of the trees one is accus- 
tomed to think of as giants, that reveals at first 
the immense girth and height of the " big trees " 
(see the Frontispiece, the "Grizzly Giant"). 
As the guide-book says, they are so exquisitely 
proportioned, that were there no others to judge 


by, one would pass them at a distance without 
notice, if it were not for other qualities in which 
they differ from their neighbours, and above 
all, for their spotlessly clean and new-looking 
trunks. These are of the colour of an unpolished 
cedar-wood pencil, though perhaps a little redder. 
Boldly and handsomely grooved as a Corinthian 
column, they rise from spreading roots, with the 
appearance of invincible strength and uprightness, 
three hundred feet and more, tapering more 
slowly than the trunks of other trees, except for 
the first ten feet or so, in which their thickness 
somewhat rapidly diminishes from, say thirty feet 
to twenty or rather less. These wonderful trees 
are free from all the diseases to which their 
smaller neighbours succumb, and meet death only 
by repeated forest fires, by the woodman's axe, 
by the hurricane to which they never bend, or by 
the bolt from heaven. No wonder they reach a 
great age ! Over four thousand annual rings 
have been carefully counted in a section taken 
of a fallen monarch, and that, too, by no means 
the largest tree. This, the present monarch of 
the grove, is still standing, and if its rings are 
distributed after the same scale, must be many 
centuries older. 

It is the thought of all that has happened since 
these splendid trees were young striplings of the 
forest that adds such solemnity to their presence. 
Even when they have fallen, they lie in the trench 
their great weight makes in the soft soil many 
years without showing any signs of decay. 
Through the hollow trunk of one of these 
prostrate giants, three men may ride some 

t3 u 

.2 s 

m PL, 

t5 vO 

3 2 


distance abreast on mules. The carriage way 
passes right through the middle of another 
enormous tree (Plate XXXIII.), thousands of 
years old, and yet apparently in all the fresh- 
ness and vigour of youth. As one drives in the 
grove the eye instantly singles out the big trees, 
even where they are most closely surrounded by 
others. Most of them stand together in small 
groups (Plate XXXIV.) sometimes of as many as 
seven or eight, but it is difficult to get an uninter- 
rupted view of a whole tree. Many have had their 
tops broken off by storms, so that few measure 
their full height. The branches are of a lighter 
shade than the trunk, and arranged rather like 
the flower-stalks of an aloe ; the foliage, of a rich 
yellowish green, contrasts finely with the reds of 
the other parts. The bark, which is from two to 
four feet thick, when examined closely is found 
to consist of a mass of closely woven, soft, springy 
fibre. Pieces of it are used for pincushions. 
The cones are wonderfully small for the size of 
the tree, not being much bigger than those of the 
common Scotch fir, but more compact, and egg- 
shaped. We found many of them on the ground. 
The sun was setting behind the pines before 
we could bring ourselves to say farewell to these 
beautiful trees, and so long as one of them 
remained in sight we looked at nothing else. 
The drive back in the darkness of a night 
without a moon was a new experience, and that 
we and our " Surrey" arrived safe and sound at 
Wawona is excellent testimony to the skill of our 
driver, who confessed that we should all have 
fared somewhat poorly if he had not known every 


deep rut and hole in the road by heart. In the 
cool of next morning, about seven o'clock, with 
all our luggage on board, we began the long 
drive back to Raymond, hoping to keep, as we 
succeeded in doing, well ahead of the noise and 
dust of the stage. The only events worth 
recording are that we saw a rare and handsome 
bird, the Road- Runner, which kills snakes and 
can outpace a horse ; and that we almost ran over 
a small pink, earless pig lying in the road well nigh 
covered up with the dust, and a very sorry sight. 
Our driver thought it had been bitten by dogs. 

The railway cars left Raymond about seven 
o'clock, and after running for an hour to 
Berenda, stopped there in a siding, where in 
the sleeper we passed the night, wakened 
early by a really severe concussion. This was 
caused by the train to which we were to be joined 
being backed into us in the most inconsiderate 
way. Most of the glass and crockery in our 
buffet car was broken. The evening sky had 
been a magnificent sight. I never saw the Milky 
Way glow as it did then, nor any constellations 
shine so brightly as Sagittarius and Scorpio over 
the western horizon. About one o'clock we 
regained the Palace Hotel and were going 
through our usual task of rearranging baggage, 
After another visit to the Bank, during which 
my escort refused to leave me, we paid our 
second visit to the gardens. The day was very 
fine but cool, and, much to our disappoint- 
ment, the orchid-house was closed by the time 
we reached it, and no official competent to open 
it was to be found. 


FTER dinner, I sallied out to see 
China Town with one of the 
official guides appointed by an 
inspector. We soon reached the 
Chinese quarter, and here one 
might just as well be in China 
itself. Everything is Chinese — shops, wares, and 
people. The few white faces in the streets look 
like foreigners, and one notices unfavourably the 
lack of a pig-tail ! I thought many of the 
Celestials quite nice-looking, with their clear 
complexions and beautifully pencilled eyebrows. 
They are exceedingly clean personally, and think 
one bath at least a day as essential to happiness 
as any Englishman does. I think one sees in 
the perfectly cool, collected manner, even of the 
shopman, the evidence of a certain feeling of 
superiority : they kindly tolerate the patronage of 
the heathen, and comparatively ignorant, white 
man. He is so inferior a being that, suppose he 
is rude and overbearing, he is to be borne with, 
as a creature of a different and a lower world, 


who has not learnt self-control, and is not 
altogether accountable for his actions ! But none 
the less, they take no end of pains in showing 
their goods, and explaining the virtues of the 
same ; and, unlike some shopkeepers of another 
nation, are not apparently the least chagrined, if, 
after examining their more curious and expensive 
wares, the customer ends by purchasing little or 
indeed nothing. 

After visiting one or two shops, including a 
barber's — the barber was working scientifically 
with a small camel-hair brush on the ear of a 
customer — we turned our steps to the chief 
lodging-house of the quarter, a very large 
rambling old building, with a central court-yard 
set apart to cooking and sanitary uses, which, 
my attendant told me, is a great improvement on 
the old state of things, when the first was per- 
formed in the cells or rooms — whichever you 
prefer to call them — and provision for the second 
was apparently entirely wanting ! The passages, 
on one or both sides of which the small rooms 
lie, are very narrow ; and one tiny apartment 
will serve as the opium and sleeping chamber of 
three or four Chinese. 

We paid informal visits to two or three rooms, 
and saw the Celestial enjoying his opium-pipe after 
the long day's work, for he begins at five or six 
in the morning and does not leave off till nine or 
ten at night. Reclining on his bed, a blanket or 
cushion placed on the shelf or floor of the alcove, 
with his body and legs in the shape of the letter 
G, the smoker takes out a small piece of the 
sticky prepared drug from a little jar on a metal 


pin ; he holds it close over a lamp or a candle 
flame till it softens and bubbles, and then moulds 
it quickly with his ringers into a spindle-shaped 
lump. With the help of the pin, he fits this into 
the small hole at the end of the opium pipe, and 
then, slanting this down over the flame, inhales 
the vapour deeply as the plug of opium melts and 
vaporises in the heat. This goes on perhaps for 
an hour or two, until, as my guide put it, he 
becomes "full" of opium, when he extinguishes 
the light and falls into a deep sleep, and, in spite 
of what many say, awakes refreshed and invig- 
orated for his next day's work. I only describe 
what I saw. I asked many questions, and came 
to the conclusion that most of these men enjoy 
their opium in almost the same way as many of 
us enjoy our tobacco, with as little or as great an 
ill effect. The Chinamen I saw were many of 
them big men, and anything but wasted looking, 
notwithstanding their cramped sleeping places. 
One of them possessed a cat, which regularly 
took opium with him, rising to inhale the opium 
smoke he blew from his lips with evident satis- 
faction, until it sank into deep sleep on its 
master's knees. When I saw the cat it was 
inhaling its last whiffs, and settled down for the 
night whilst I was looking on. They told me 
that this is the only known specimen of an animal 
in the world, except man, which takes opium. 

I heard a small Chinese girl sing a song in 
Chinese, and then a short child's hymn in English, 
but on inquiring as to whether many of the 
Chinese are converts to Christianity, the answer 
was that many profess this religion for a time, in 


order to learn English, and as soon as they have 
learnt it, reassert publicly their old religion, which 
they have never ceased to practise secretly all the 
time. Next we visited a Joss House. The so- 
called idols — I think there were five — were the 
figures of men conspicuous for their bravery in the 
long-past history of the empire. The Chinese do 
not believe the images to be these men themselves, 
but likenesses of them ; nevertheless the dead 
men's spirits are near, and as the tea evaporates 
from the little cups which the devout place before 
the statues, they say that the spirits are drinking 
up the liquid. How they explain the solid 
residue I did not learn. The carving of the 
altar on which these heroes sit is exceedingly 
intricate and deep, and richly coloured. A sacred 
light was burning on it, and is never allowed to 
go out. They imagine that this light keeps 
away the evil spirits, which correspond apparently 
to our devils in their love for darkness, and in 
their powers of annoying and hurting mankind 
both before and after death. 

I learnt also that the Chinese believe in the 
Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, and also 
that from Him come all good things, but they 
picture Him as too remote to concern himself 
with individual men, and as they have nothing to 
fear from Him, they pay Him but little worship. 
It is the terror of the devil and his legions which 
greatly influences their thoughts and lives, and at 
times they beat their tom-toms and clash their 
cymbals to frighten these physically timid powers 
of darkness away. A notice on the wall stated 
that all visitors must pay ten cents towards the 


Joss House ; we did not do so, but perhaps the 
price of the fire sticks of scented wood which we 
bought for a trifling sum on the assurance that 
their pleasant scent was both a preventive and a 
cure for noxious insects in luggage, was accepted 
instead of the unpaid donation. My guide 
informed me that visitors are not always allowed 
to see the interiors of these houses of worship. 

After paying for a seat at the ticket office, and 
mounting some stairs, I next found myself seated 
in a wooden rickety chair, with a few other 
visitors, on the stage of a Chinese theatre, in the 
thick of a play which had begun about four in the 
afternoon, had continued without stopping since 
then, and would not end much before midnight. 
The general arrangement of the house itself was 
much the same as that of any other, and from 
floor to roof it was filled with Chinamen, except 
one gallery, well screened off, which held, I 
believe, the Chinese ladies. There was but little 
talking : every one seemed interested in the play, 
except a few ragged children who were running 
about, some on the stage near us, and some 
behind it. A few of the men were smoking, 
including some of the actors not, for the time, 
taking part in the scene. About a dozen 
musicians filled the back of the stage, and were 
playing continuously, except during the com- 
paratively rare intervals of spoken dialogue on 
the part of the actors. Their music was exceed- 
ingly interesting, in spite of its monotony. It 
was all minor ; the air, repeated with little or no 
variation, being neither sad nor merry, reminding 
one distantly of some brisk Irish melody. It 


contained, I think, a subject and answer, each 
expressed in a few phrases, and written in a mode 
to which our minor seemed the nearest approach, 
but different from it in a way I could not grasp, 
though I tried hard. A single violin led ; there 
was no proper alto or tenor part, but a 
weird accompaniment, made by striking sticks of 
different lengths, which emit short sounds of 
determinate and high pitch ; and by a sort of 
kettle-drum, a triangle, and a pair of large brass 
cymbals. These last were not used all through, 
but to emphasise some specially interesting part 
of the dialogue, or at the close of what perhaps 
corresponds to an act. 

The scenery is the same throughout, namely 
the stage itself, and the curtains at the back 
of it. The accessories were few : a table, and 
a highly ornamented arched window on legs, 
reminding one of the front of a" Punch " show, 
through which the man actor at one part of the 
play, watched the gestures of the two women 
talking together, and overheard something which 
made him clap his hands and give vent to other 
expressions of joy. As to the subject of the 
play so far as I saw it, I could only guess, 
scarcely knowing a word of Chinese, but it 
seemed that the hero had taken a violent fancy 
to an exceedingly shy young woman, who had to 
be won over by a person who was either the wife, 
or at all events an intimate friend, of the man. 
He sat quietly at the side of the stage doing 
nothing, whilst his ally sang his praises in a high 
and rather harsh voice, following only to a very 
moderate extent the music of the orchestra ; but 


even after a couple of hours of this curious love- 
making by proxy, the girl could scarcely be 
induced to sit for a moment on the far end of the 
couch on which her lover was seated, and matters 
were not looking any better for him when I left. 
The Chinese do not allow any women to act on 
the stage, and the two I have mentioned were 
in reality men, but their disguise was, to my 
eyes, perfect. The feet would of course be the 
difficulty, but their dresses were long, and only 
the toe of a shoe peeped out now and then. Both 
of them had fans, and the shy girl only rarely 
ventured to peep over the top of hers ; the other 
used hers much as her European sisters do. 
The audience evidently followed everything very 
closely, and now and then interrupted this very 
even performance, with roars of laughter. Every- 
where I saw intelligent and beaming faces ; cups 
of tea were passed round at intervals, and in 
spite of the length of the performance no one 
looked sleepy or yawned. 

Leaving the theatre, I visited a large club- 
house, and much enjoyed a cup of tea myself, 
served in Chinese fashion. Then we returned to 
the hotel by a circuitous route through back 
streets (which in some respects bear a strong 
resemblance to ancient Pompeii), calling at a 
Chinese bazaar, full of such beautiful and inter- 
esting wares, and so cheap withal, that they 
and the blandishments of the vendors proved 
altogether too much for me, and I made several 
purchases — Chinese ink, chess-men, paper-knives, 
stamp boxes, handkerchiefs, a gong, two tea sets, 
and other things which in New York I believe 



cost at least three times, and in England ten 
times as much, or even more. The inscrutable 
Chinamen became evidently interested as the 
number of purchases became greater, and finally 
made me a present of a box of Lychees, pretty- 
looking brown nuts, with a fruit inside containing 
a stone, and tasting rather like a raisin. They 
packed all my goods, and bestowed them in the 
hotel that night, ready for our departure, which 
took place early next morning. 


NCE more we passed aross the 
bay, the sunbeams dancing on its 
busy waters, and in a few hours' 
time were climbing the steep 
slopes of the Sierras under mile 
after mile of snow -sheds ; in 
fact, for more than sixty miles the rails ran 
under a long, unbroken tunnel. One side is 
generally rock, the other a forest of massive 
hewn timber supports, which fly by so quickly 
that they produce all sorts of queer effects : 
sometimes through holes in the boarded walls 
glimpses of the scenery can be caught, but often 
it is almost pitch dark, and the traveller wishes 
that the masters of the Rio Grande had seen 
their way to make a summer track, as the 
Canadian and Pacific authorities have done. 
The great strength of the construction bears 
witness to the weight of the snow in winter time, 
and for the difficulties which the engineers must 
have had to encounter who constructed these 
wonderful links betwen east and west. 



Thunderstorms were brooding over the land 
we were leaving behind us towards sunset, and 
again I saw the tall cumulus clouds, which seem 
to accompany electrical disturbances in this part 
of the world. It grew quite cold, and a snow- 
storm would not have been a surprise when we 
stepped down from the train and made a rush for 
food at a small station. Next day found us in the 
desert, though, as the line follows the course of one 
of the few rivers — the Humboldt — it did not look 
so thirsty as one might expect; besides, there had 
been heavy rain, a great blessing, and when the 
heat of the day came on, we could open the 
windows without fear of being choked by the fine 
sand and dust, which so often make this part of 
the journey anything but pleasant. If all is dry, 
and there is wind, the dust finds its way through 
every chink and crevice of the car, and the in- 
mates sit, hot, choked, and miserable, even with 
fruit and iced water to help them to while away 
the time. We experienced nothing of this sort ; 
a cool breeze blew, and the fascinations of the 
ever-changing diorama of gently sloping plains 
and bold mountain ranges kept us busy watching 
hour after hour (Plate XXXV.). 

The terraces on the lower slopes of these hills 
show plainly that once all this country was under 
water, and any one who can at all read the face 
of the land feels no surprise when in the after- 
noon he sees, as we did, in the distance a long 
thin, perfectly level white streak, telling unmis- 
takably l that the waters of the Great Salt Lake 

1 As a matter of fact, we thought we saw the lake several 
times before we really did so — the hot layer of air next the 

O c 

<o w 



are at last in sight. For miles we traverse its 
flat, cracked, muddy shores, almost bare of vege- 
tation ; what little there is, grey and withered- 
looking, the leaden waters lie far away. Here 
and there thin, white, glistening incrustations of 
salt relieve the monotony of the dull and lifeless 
waste ; or the train rushes past half-dried swamps, 
with a few sad-looking rushes skirting their edge. 
Towards evening the sun warms into purple the 
distant lofty mountains, and kindles a golden 
path on these mournful waters ; and so we bid 
them farewell for a time. The scenery changes, 
fields take the place of the vast stretches of 
ancient sea-bed, cottages and trees appear once 
more, and, as night closes in, lights sparkle like 
glow-worms in the darkness ; the train draws up 
in a crowded station ; we have arrived at Salt 
Lake City. 

Here we should have stayed longer if we had 
had the time to spare, and tried to learn on the 
spot something of the life and conditions which 
prevail amongst the Mormons; as it was, I heard 
some warm discussions in the train, and had some 
interesting conversation with a man who, though 
not a Mormon himself, had lived for more than 
six years amongst them. To put down very 

ground reflecting the lighter-coloured sky near the horizon 
behind it, and the spurs of the mountains running down into 
it, so as to give exactly the appearance of a large lake in the 
distance. That this was only mirage was abundantly proved 
by the change wrought when the railway ascended a few feet. 
This had the effect of making what had looked like a number 
of little islands into one long dry promontory, and shifted the 
shore of the mirage-sea to a much greater distance than 


briefly some of the points : — The women, my 
informants told me, are stronger advocates of 
polygamy than the men. I asked if this was 
caused by undue influence of their husbands ; 
they said no, not at all. The men are exceed- 
ingly proud of the Mormon faith, and often let 
every one know that they are members of the 
society without being asked. They genuinely 
believe in the book of Mormon. Having read 
the book myself, I asked how this was possible, 
and was told that most of the Prophet's followers 
were almost destitute when they came to Salt 
Lake. Young gave them land, money, a fresh 
start in life. Is it wonderful that they should 
place implicit confidence in the man who has 
done more for them, practically, than any one 
else, and trust him in matters religious, as they 
have reason to do in matters secular ? I under- 
stood that Mormonism and polygamy are quite 
apart; the revelation of the "will of God" in 
the latter, came apparently only to confirm and 
ratify what was already the way of life of some 
of the Mormons. 

The city flourishes, there is no doubt of that ; 
the Gentile element increases year by year, but 
the "Elect" hold their own at present. It is still 
unsafe, so I was told, for an inhabitant of Salt 
Lake City to differ publicly in opinion from the 
teachings of the Mormon priests; but the terror 
of the ever-watchful Mormon eye is not so great 
as it used to be. The railway has made the 
means of escape much easier ; and, perhaps even 
the members of the Vigilance Committee, if it 
still exists, have now some respect for the civil 


law, and for the general interest which a 
mysterious disappearance will excite, if by chance 
it should get into the daily papers. Polygamy 
is civilly criminal, but the judges who try cases in 
Salt Lake are appointed by local authority ; and 
this diminishes the number of complaints to a 
very low figure, and tempers the severity of the 
sentence, if one is ever pronounced. 

All agreed that few men have possessed such 
absolute power, or wielded it more despotically 
than Brigham Young. At a certain period when 
Gentiles were invading the New Jerusalem, 
Young thought it high time to know definitely 
who were of the faith and who not. He there- 
fore, in a speech or sermon, told his audience 
that all his true friends were to get their garden 
gates painted green by such and such a day, and, 
said the narrator, by that morning there was not 
a single gate to be found that had not been so 
painted. Whether these assertions are true or 
not I do not pretend to judge ; I only state what 
I heard as I heard it. 

To turn to another matter : the waters of the 
Great Salt Lake are not lifeless, after all ; they 
contain innumerable specimens of some micro- 
scopically small but living being, the only 
survival, probably, of the many forms of life 
which once filled the immense inland sea, whose 
waters stretched for three hundred miles or more 
in all directions. The intensely salt waters of 
the present lake have a very energetic effect on 
the skin of bathers, and affect the eyes painfully, 
producing soreness and swelling, so that it is well 
to take care not to let the brine touch any part of 


the face. Common salt is by far the largest con- 
stituent, but, as in sea water, there are also com- 
pounds of magnesium, though not in so large a 

After leaving the city, the railway runs through 
mountainous country ; we could, however, see 
little of it at night, though there was a moon, and 
by the time I was in a state to notice anything 
next morning it was broad daylight, and we were 
turning out to breakfast at Glenwood Springs, 
Colorado, a very unfinished-looking place, with 
a fine hotel out of all proportion to any of the 
other buildings, and a bridge of which I should 
think the engineer feels proud. The journey 
from here to Colorado Springs is through really 
magnificent canon scenery. It would be difficult 
to exaggerate the grandeur of the great rock 
walls between which for a long distance the river 
and railroad wind their way. In one place there 
is not room for them side by side, and the railway 
is carried by a wooden parapet built out from the 
face of the perpendicular cliff, with the muddy 
waters flowing close beneath. Often you cannot 
see the sky at all without putting your head out- 
side the window and then looking up vertically — 
a position it is not easy or desirable to maintain 
for long ; and so deep and narrow is this Royal 
Gorge, that it is gloomy on the brightest day. 
Gradually the panting engines climb the slope, 
the canon walls grow lower and lower, the valley 
opens out, and frequent mining sheds and tunnels 
impress upon you the fact that you are in a rich 
metal-bearing district. 

At one point, from a break in the canon's side, 


a stream of lava has flowed, and its rugged, 
black cindery prominences and hollows are yet 
too little weathered for vegetation to grow on 
them. So far as appearance goes the eruption 
might have happened only a few years ago, but 
in such a rainless tract as this the time necessary 
for the fertilising of a lava stream is no doubt 
very much longer than in moister climates. 
Even in Teneriffe, which enjoys a considerable 
rainfall, lava streams a century old, such as those 
near Guimar, are almost as bare and savage as 
they were when first they cooled. Only one kind 
of bush has as yet taken root on the stream which 
overwhelmed Garachico, years before the great 
gap of Pedro Gil, — the source of the Guimar 
lava, — was formed in the splendid crater wall of 
the Cafiadas. 

All the way through the Royal Gorge the 
scenery has been built of granite, but as we near 
Pueblo one beautiful woodland river picture 
after another flits by the carriage window, and 
in the distance, over the wavy lines of inter- 
mediate hills and mountains, Pike's Peak can be 
distinctly seen. A grand yellow sunset, with 
torn clouds, lit up the prairie as we came out 
upon it, and before the light had altogether 
faded, Colorado Springs, our terminus for the 
present, hove in sight, and we spent the rest of 
the evening enjoying the comfort of the Antlers' 
Hotel, and the excellent music provided for the 
entertainment of its many guests. 

Next day broke grey, cold, and windy. We 
were driving in a (( Surrey " with a pair of black 
horses, towards the ''Garden of the Gods," when 


a rotten pole-strap gave way, the pole fell, the 
near horse all but came to grief over it, and in 
saving himself burst collar and bearing-rein. 
There the mischief ended ; we got out, and 
passed the time gathering flowers and watching 
some rifle practice going on at the butts, whilst 
the driver, after a little temporary mending, went 
back to the hotel to get some stronger harness. 
After his reappearance, a few minutes brought us 
in sight of the extraordinary rocks which, I sup- 
pose, gave the name to this widely known spot. 

Imagine an undulating, wooded, hilly country, 
sloping down to a level plain. Just where the 
hills and plain meet, there rise, as though they 
had been pushed up suddenly from below, and 
had nothing whatever to do with their present 
surroundings, a long line of most aggressively 
red, almost vermilion cliffs. This line is broken 
in places, but can be followed by the eye for 
many miles along the foot of the Pike's Peak 
satellites, and wherever it appears the scenery is, 
to say the least, very unusual. In spite of their 
great height — and I should think many of them 
attain two or three hundred feet — these cliffs 
are most surprisingly thin, and fill one with still 
greater astonishment when seen endways on 
(Plate XXXVI.). They appear to consist of a 
kind of sandstone, which in a moister air would 
most likely have perished quickly ; as it is, the 
weather has worn them into grotesque shapes. 
From the point where the two main groups of 
these strange rocks are seen, one in General 
Palmer's very pretty garden, and the other some 
distance to the left, many of them look like 


queer images of gods rising out of the earth. 
Others resemble camels and birds ; there are two 
seals on the sky-line of one of the rocks, remark- 
ably well carved by Nature's own hand. One 
almost wishes that the coachman would not insist 
in pointing out and naming these chance effigies ; 
they are so plain that he must be indeed devoid 
of imagination who does not see them for him- 
self — and a hundred others, too, which have not 
been named. Further on we passed a huge 
boulder — of the same red substance — resting 
on a very small area. Often the forms of the 
rocks made me think of the Parson and Clerk, 
and other yearly disappearing landmarks on the 
coast between Star Cross and Teignmouth, 
in South Devon ; and from the similarity of 
colouring and weathering, I imagine the nature 
of the rocks is very similar. We passed some 
" Mushroom " formations, too, but none to com- 
pare in beauty with those in Monument Park, 
described a little further on. 

We were now rapidly nearing the mountains, 
with the great Peak overtopping them all ; and, 
after a short piece of downhill road, reached the 
little town of Manitou, and stopped first at the 
Soda Spring. Its cold water gives off carbonic 
acid gas copiously on rising, and has a rather 
pleasant taste. In a shop close by is a fine 
collection of minerals found in the neighbourhood 
— agates, green felspars, endless specimens of 
quartz, green, purple, and colourless ; iron pyrites, 
realgar and orpiment, crocidolite, azurite, mala- 
chite, and many others, both interesting and often 
very beautiful. We made a limited selection of 


these, and then trudged to the Pike's Peak 
station, and took our seats in the car for the 
summit, over 14,000 feet above sea-level, but 
only 8,000 above the prairie plains. To travel 
the eight miles from Manitou to the top takes 
about an hour, and the transition to the rarer air 
is so rapid that almost every one is much more 
aware of the difference than he would be if he 
had taken the usual twelve hours allowed for the 
ascent on foot. Some feel a slight pain in the 
region of the lungs, others are sick and giddy, 
and all, so far as I could judge, disinclined to 
exert themselves. By those accustomed to the 
temperature of the plains, the cold of the summit 
is keenly felt. Many seemed to have had no idea 
of how much colder it would naturally be up here, 
and shivered about the stove in the house which 
crowns the Peak, audibly wishing they had 
brought great-coats, or their feminine equivalent, 
whilst snow was falling outside. 

The day was cloudy, and though the nearer 
views on the way up were good, a dense mist 
covered the summit, and the prospect was conse- 
quently a perfect and absolute blank. This did 
not tend to raise the visitors' spirits. They 
clustered round a bar-like counter, sitting on high 
stools, and eating lunch, and were evidently 
pleased when the time came for going down 
again. Soon after three o'clock every one had 
gone except ourselves. The evening brought no 
change in the weather, but the wind rose, and 
sleet drove hard against the window-panes. We 
passed the time in base luxury, from a moun- 
taineer's point of view, sitting by a roaring stove, 


and talking of Cripple Creek and fickle fortune 
with the summer inmates of this mountain hotel, 
one of whom at least knows by experience the 
excitements and disappointments of gold digging. 
About ten I went to bed, but not to sleep ; the 
howling and roaring of the wind, and the creaking 
of the many doors, and perhaps the effect of the 
lighter air, kept me awake hour after hour, till 
about 5 a.m., when the voice of one of the men 
outside told me that it was still misty, and that 
it would be a mistake to get up to see the sunrise. 
Though it may be hard to believe, I submitted to 
remain where I was without a murmur, and 
instantly fell sound asleep, to be awakened at 
once, it seemed, by the same voice, with the news 
that the fog had disappeared and that the view 
was unusually clear. 

In twenty minutes' time I was photographing 
right and left with yellow screens and isochromatic 
plates, and hope that the results may show friends 
at home what some parts, at least, of the marvel- 
lous panorama are like. 

The summit of the Peak is so broad that from 
any one spot only a small fraction of the whole 
view can be seen. The slopes of the mountain 
itself, and the many lower hills near it, always 
form the foreground, but less looking towards 
Colorado Springs than on any other side. The 
town itself looks like a little vegetable garden, 
laid out in neat little squares, with narrow white 
paths between, the distance being too great for 
the unassisted eye to distinguish separate houses 
(Plate XXXVI I.). Beyond the Springs, the prairie 
stretches out like a sea, becoming bluer and bluer, 


till it ends in so even and flat a horizon line, that 
a hasty observer might well think it the ocean 
itself. Faintest grey in the far south — nearly two 
hundred miles distant — is the long low ridge of 
Fisher's Peak ; fifty miles nearer, Spanish Peak, 
a shade darker, but still only to be seen by careful 
search. Wisps of smoke cloud alone reveal the 
cities and villages, just awakening to another day 
of their busy life. West and north lie range upon 
range of hill and mountain, variegated with the 
deep blue velvet of distant wood or flitting cloud 
shadow, till all the country seems an ocean whose 
mighty waves have been enchanted by some song 
of heaven, and stand still evermore to listen, No 
view from any mountain-top I know quite equals 
that from El Teide of Teneriffe, but here the 
prairie sea almost makes up for the lack of the 
true ocean meadows, and the distant peaks extend 
the possibilities of sight far beyond what would 
be its limits were there plains on every side alike, 
at the same high level as these. 

Outside the hotel is a large thermometer. The 
men told me that its readings were once noted 
regularly, but as no one ever paid any attention 
to the notes, the observations have been discon- 
tinued. It surprised me a good deal that the 
opportunities this Peak presents to the astronomer 
and physicist were not made use of — and in 
America, too ! What would not some of us give 
to have this one mountain in the Old Country ! 
I suppose the day will come when, as from the 
Lick telescope on Mount Hamilton, and from Mr. 
Lowell's in Arizona, from Pike's Peak also will 
come the latest news the light from sun and star 

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and planet has to tell. The anemometer would 
have a fine chance of making a record up here, if 
what I hear is true, that sometimes the wind 
attains the truly fearful speed of 162 miles an 
hour ! And a hurricane is only ninety ! No 
wonder the walls of the house are three feet thick, 
and that great pains have been taken to make the 
foundations secure. The cog-wheel cars are 
comfortable enough in quiet weather, but the 
people in them must have an exciting time when 
they arrive at Windy Corner on a rough day. 

Before noon the first train arrived. From the 
remarks I overheard, the excursionists seemed 
greatly to enjoy the sights. Almost every one of 
them sent a telegram to some friend, answer 
prepaid — partly, I think, because this house is the 
highest telegraph office in the world, and partly as 
a sort of souvenir. After registering our names 
in the visitors' book, we began the return journey. 
The engine went first, and slowly let us down. 
On the step outside, a grey and elderly man 
amused himself, and apparently a few of the 
passengers, by aiming at anything which hap- 
pened to attract his attention, from a small wild 
bird to a large leaf or a stone, with an air-gun. I 
am not certain whether he was not trying to go 
as near as he could to the objects, whether living 
or inanimate, without actually hitting them. If 
so, he was a good shot, and a humane man — but 
this does not explain the hilarity of some of the 

The lake and woods seemed to be rising up to 
meet us, rather than we descending to them. In 
places the banks along the side of the car-way 


were all ablaze with dark purple and golden-eyed 
Michaelmas daisies, or with clusters of sunflowers. 
About one o'clock we were once more in Manitou, 
and looking back to the far-away summit and the 
little speck of a house we shall always remember 
with pleasure. 

That afternoon we drove through Ute (pro- 
nounced "eut") Pass to Cascade canon. The 
entrance to the canon is a fine piece of rock 
scenery, but after passing it, the drive is rather 
uninteresting as far as the dangerous level-cross- 
ing, with its most sensible warning board and 
bell. Then it grows prettier, and the little canon 
itself quite repays a visit. It is a narrow and 
steep gorge, with a stream flowing through the 
shady woods in a series of small cascades, very 
much like the Tore Waterfalls near the Middle 
Lake, Killarney. It is well that we visited it 
before seeing the two Cheyenne ("shyen") 
canons, or even Williams' ; these, though it 
would be a mistake to compare valleys so 
different, are much more impressive, and, I 
think, should be left till last. On our return to 
Manitou we found the road blocked with people 
and horses, and witnessed a rough race of the 
latter along the high-road. The car back to the 
Springs was crammed with passengers to a per- 
fectly ludicrous extent. They were hanging on 
like bats to the posts which support the roof, 
all very cheerful and none the worse for their 
holiday, which they call, curiously enough, 
" Labour Day." 


HE Garden of the Gods had dis- 
appointed me in one respect. 
For many years I believed that 
in it are to be found some of 
the finest specimens of earth 
pillars, objects which are among 
the most curious results of the action of rain and 
streams on a particular arrangement of soil. In 
fact it was chiefly to see these that I had come 
to Colorado, for well-developed instances of them 
are exceedingly rare, and with the exception of 
those in the Austrian Tyrol, I had never heard 
of any other very fine ones. It is true that near 
the balanced boulder, there are in the Garden of 
the Gods some low mushroom formations, as they 
call them there ; but these are very poor compared 
with the pictures of the earth pillars in books on 

It was only after asking most persistent 
questions, I found out that a district called 
" Monument Park " was likely to satisfy my 
curiosity, so we determined to spend next day 



there, and began by driving some miles along the 
white and dusty Denver road. Before actually 
reaching the Park, a lofty white pedestal on the 
right, capped by a flat red stone very much like 
a college cap, told me that my wishes were to 
be fulfilled, and in a very short time the camera 
was at work again, photographing this splendid 
pillar, with Pike's Peak for background (Plate 
XXXVI 1 1.). There are two or three more, 
quite close, on the top and by the side of the 
low hill, and the smaller ones illustrate admirably 
the way in which these curious and most striking 
objects are formed. Later in the day we passed 
hundreds of them, but none finer than the first 

To explain them roughly is easy. A hard, flat, 
and thin stratum of rock, which cracks, but is not 
worn away fast by water, rests on some softer 
soil. Rain falls, sinks through the cracks in the 
upper, hard layer, and hollows out the soil below, 
first by its dissolving action, and then, when 
outlets for the tiny underground streams have 
been found in the face of a cliff, by mechanically 
wearing it away in narrow ruts with almost 
vertical sides, ever growing deeper and dividing 
the ground into columnar structures, each with 
its hard cap of the top soil (Plate XXXIX.). 
Meanwhile this top soil is itself affected by the 
rain, the expansion and contraction caused by 
summer and winter, or by the hot days and cold 
nights. Sometimes it is split by the freezing of 
moisture in its pores, and so it falls, little by little, 
into the miniature canons, in fragments to be 
gradually dissolved or swept away by the trick- 


ling water ; except where it rests securely on the 
pedestals of softer soil below, and there it is left, 
high and dry, partly protecting the pillar beneath 
it from the direct action of rain (Plate XXXIX.). 
But in time wind and moisture triumph. The 
supporting column grows thin in places ; the rock 
cap, no longer level, slants more and more 
towards the side on which the weather takes 
most effect, until it falls. Sometimes its thin 
neck breaks, or the wind lifts off the loosened 
cap ; and along the old river cliffs in Monument 
Park hundreds of these strange figures may be 
seen, in all the stages of their long life, from the 
sturdy young earth pillar, just born from the 
retiring cliff — short, thick, and with a large and 
new-looking cap level set — to the tall, gaunt giant 
with spindle neck, nodding with age and infirmity ; 
or the last stage of all, without cap, or neck, or 
waist, or anything — a mere low, shapeless lump of 
the softer soil. 

It gives one a strange, eerie feeling to come 
upon a group of these white figures, on the 
borders of the wooded cliffs, standing round and 
apparently discussing some dry topic in their 
unheard and unknown language. One can 
almost tell from the slant of their caps their 
several characters and sentiments. Here are to 
be found, frozen to stone during the day, but 
surely alive and moving when no one is looking, 
the White King and Queen from far - famed 
Alice's Wonderland and Looking-glass country ! 
Here are the Pawns, and the Duchess, and the 
White Rabbit ! And surely between the trunks 
of the pines in that " tulgey " wood, one can see 


something that can be none other than the dread 
" Bandersnatch " itself! 

I do not think people know what they miss in 
leaving Colorado without seeing Monument Park. 
My driver said that hardly any one ever came 
here — I suppose because they never hear of it ; 
and the photographs I afterwards found in one 
or two hotels are not by any means flattering ; so 
much in a landscape depends on colour as well as 
form, to say nothing of stereoscopic effect, and, 
possibly, motion. Every one should see the 
" Quakers," and the beautiful groups which lie 
on its right side as you drive from the farmhouse 
near the " Quakers " towards the mountainous 
side of the Park. Do not be content with the 
view from the carriage ; you must wander all 
about them before you can possibly form a true 
opinion of their beauty (Plate XL.). 

The caps of these pillars seem to be made of 
a dark red sandstone, the bodies of conglomerate, 
as if a coarse granite had been disintegrated 
by water, and then the quartz lumps cemented 
together with the clay derived from felspar. At 
a moderate distance the lines of horizontal strata 
in which this soil has been deposited are clearly 
visible, both in the pillar structures and on the 
main cliff ; but in two or three instances in the 
first group you meet after passing the farmhouse 
alluded to, there are also some slanting, slightly 
projecting ribs of apparently harder material, 
which I cannot explain, except by supposing that 
they mark the course of veins of matter forced 
up into the already stratified material of which 
the pillars are mainly composed. These lines cut 


the horizontal layers, which are quite distinct, at 
a very considerable angle — say 45 . I hope both 
sets of lines will be visible in the stereoscopic 
photographs (Plate XL I.) I took of these par- 
ticular pillars, which, taken as a group, I thought 
the most beautiful of all. They are about twenty 
feet high, and lie within a hundred feet of the 

The trail leading out of the Park is in a very 
bad state, but it runs through a peaceful and 
happy-looking valley, and our slow pace only 
gave us the more time to enjoy it. The frequent 
gates are rather a hindrance to progress all 
through, but when the last is left behind you 
drive lightly over the springy grass, and on every 
side there are prairie dogs sitting up watching, 
or scampering off to their burrows. 

It was a lovely evening, calm and brilliantly 
clear ; the sun set in a bright white sky behind 
the mountains, whilst all the eastern heavens 
flushed orange and pink, and it was nearly dark 
before we regained our hotel. After dark the 
waterworks were turned on to flood the meadow 
at the back of the house. When the moon rose 
it shone through the trees, and, with the many 
lighted windows, made lovely reflections in the 
still water, whilst the strains of the string band 
left nothing wanting to make the evening repose 
and pipe enjoyable. I am bound to say the 
summer nights seem to me shorter in America 
than even in Norway. No sooner is one asleep 
than it is time to be getting up ; the ruthless 
knock at the door leaves no possibility of doubt- 
though it is very pleasant to feel that you can 


depend on being called exactly at the hour you 
wish. How many countries might learn a lesson 
from the States in this respect ! And what a 
difference all day is made by an early start, 
especially in hot climates ! 

We intended to see the Seven Lakes, and 
were told over-night that a start must be made 
soon after seven in the morning ; and at seven 
precisely we jumped into our "Surrey," and in 
the delightfully fresh morning air jogged slowly 
along towards the mountains. Then the ascent 
began through Bear Creek Canon, and continued 
for about six hours ; the horses simply crawled 
the whole time, stopping to rest every dozen 
paces. Probably this slow pace is necessary, as 
no change of horses can be had, even though 
each halt allowed the sun to climb a little higher 
and reduced the chances of any shade later on ; 
but it was certainly rather trying to patience. 
For part of the way the dust was also choking. 
At last we looked down on Loch Marie, which 
is often spoken of as one of the Seven Lakes. 
This is untrue ; the Seven Lakes are not reached 
till you have crossed the watershed, and if the 
hint may be given without offending anybody, it 
is well to make it thoroughly understood before 
starting that you wish to see the first three or 
four of the Seven Lakes, and not merely to go as 
far as Loch Marie and then turn back. 

The road begins to rise again more steeply as 
you leave this wild and beautiful sheet of water 
behind and below you, and the finest part of the 
whole drive by far is the open mountain scenery 
between the lake and the highest point. I 


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expected to see over the top of the pass the 
Seven Lakes stretched out, one beyond another, 
in a long, shallow valley. Our driver's answers 
to questions as to their whereabouts seemed to 
me vague, and on asking him how large and 
what shape they were, how far from one another, 
whether the fishing was good, and other ques- 
tions, he became more and more confused in his 
answers, till I inquired point-blank whether he 
had ever been on this road before, to which he 
answered plainly " No." This made it much 
more interesting for all of us, when, on reaching 
the watershed, a glance at the valley in front 
showed nothing large enough to be called a lake, 
though there certainly was a huge bog just below 
us. Two trails were also visible, one running to 
the right along the hills up a side valley to some 
mines, whilst the main track, after a rather steep 
descent, ran along this side of the morass and 
disappeared round a corner. 

To see whether the Seven Lakes were in the 
side valley, I followed the well-beaten trail to the 
right on foot, and very soon got a clear view 
right away to the end of it ; but no lakes of any 
description were to be seen. Meanwhile, an 
army of black clouds was drawing up its forces 
on the southern slopes of the Peak, and distant 
thunder announced that the elements were 
already actively engaged. I hastened back to 
report to the " Surrey's " occupants the necessity 
for moving on to some more sheltered spot ; but 
we had not gone far when a cold wind struck us, 
simultaneously with a grand roar from the 
clouded skies, and a few large drops of storm- 


driven rain. Fortunately some campers' tents 
stood near, and after asking permission to enter 
one of the largest of these— a request no sooner 
made than granted— we had our luncheon-basket 
transferred to the tent, and began to make merry, 
sitting on the wooden benches, unpacking the 
good things and laying them out, after a clearing 
had been swept on the old table, crowded with 
all kinds of biscuit boxes, candlesticks, and empty 


Our host had been in this spot all the summer, 
cooking for a camping-party, and told us there 
had not been a single warm day for weeks. 
Heavy hail was rattling on the canvas whilst he 
was speaking, and the stove hissing and splutter- 
ing. The only warmth seemed to be that of our 
sympathy for the cook. It grew really very cold, 
and when the hail changed to rain few parts of 
the tent were free from drips. Water came 
stealthily in under the canvas, along the ground, 
so that valuables had to be moved to the islands 
left. The carriage cushions, which were of a 
watertight material, proved most handy foot- 
stools, and for the time, at all events, I felt no 
desire whatever to camp out in these high 


We gave our friend a cigar and a pear ; he 
seemed particularly pleased with these trifles, 
saying that he had seen an apple or two that 
season, but no pears, and as to the cigar— " Ah ! 
we don't get them new things up here !" I think 
he also appreciated something else of an effer- 
vescent nature, which, however cold at the time, 
kept us warm till the sun came out once more ; 


and with heartfelt thanks for the shelter and the 
tea — for amongst the other luxuries we enjoyed 
was the drinking of very strong tea, fresh from 
the stove, in tin cups — we drove on, and found 
two or three of the Seven Lakes, shut in between 
steep wooded slopes, about a mile and a half 
from our impromptu camp. Three men were 
encamped on the shore of the first. One of them 
told us they were fishing, but the sport so far had 
not been good ; and as for the weather, the less 
said about it the better. 

It was too cold, after the warmth of the plains, 
to enjoy anything much, so we turned our horses 
homewards. Often glimpses of the great plains 
in the V-shaped gaps through which the road 
runs remind one of the blue sea filling in the 
space between the gentle green slopes of some 
Cornish valley. And so once more out into the 
prairie, under the same strange kind of sunset as 
we had last night, all the east flushed with pink, 
whilst westward the sun sank behind dark indigo 
mountains, with a bright white, hazy cirrous sky 
over them. 

Next day was our last whole day in Colorado. 
We had already dedicated it to the two Cheyenne 
cafions, and after an early breakfast, armed with 
a hamper full to overflowing (as the salad dress- 
ing proved only too literally), with a hot sun 
behind us, but a deliciously cool breeze blowing 
from the mountains in our faces, we sped swiftly 
along the narrow roads to the place in the woods 
where the ways to the North and South Cafions 
diverge, and then made for the former. The 
entrance is grand, and the grandeur lasts for 


quite a mile along the road. It seems a pity 
that one cannot get the first impressions of these 
gorges by driving down them from their upper 
ends ; then at every turn the rocks right and left 
become higher and higher, and the most impres- 
sive part of all is seen last ; whereas, entering 
them as we do, the finest part is seen first, and 
makes the rest seem tame in comparison. 

This is especially true of the canon I am now 
writing about, and there is little to be gained by 
following the carriage track further than the place 
where tourists usually stop. My driver told me 
there was no place to turn higher up, which 
proved absolutely untrue. If you wish you can 
follow the road as far as it goes, and there is an 
excellent turning-place just where it becomes a 
mere foot-trail at the foot of a gold mine, the 
entrance to which is closed by a padlocked door 
with a bell ! In front of this door, and about six 
paces from it, is a broken-down wire fence, with 
a wicket to which is attached a notice, written 
by hand, to the effect that visitors may see the 
interior of the mine for a small sum — twenty-five 
cents, I think — but it adds rather curiously, that 
if you pass the gate you have to pay the fee. 
The rocks and sand about here are full of " fools' 
gold," a kind of mica, so far as I could make out, 
with a yellow, lustrous surface, easily splitting 
into thin plates, and soft and soapy to the touch. 

The same red sandstone rocks which form the 
most striking feature of the Garden of the Gods 
add their gorgeous colouring to the mouth of 
this canon ; they are of a rather deeper shade, 
and browner than in the Garden, but rise much 


higher, and are magnificent objects when seen 
far above the pines which grow thickly in the 
bottom of the valley. The reds and greens rein- 
force each other by contrast, and it seems to me 
that so far as colour goes this Northern Canon is 
the finer of the two, but does not approach the 
Southern in grandeur. 

We returned to the fork of the roads, and in a 
few minutes reached the toll-gate which lies at 
the entrance of the South Cheyenne. There we 
parted with a dollar apiece, an entrance fee which 
does not seem at all excessive when you have left 
the gate behind you and are driving or walking 
(for we found the roof of the " Surrey " shut out 
far too much of the view) along the road which 
winds by the stream up this superb canon. It is 
exceedingly narrow, and shut in on both sides by 
stupendous precipices of savage rock. On the 
floor of the canon grow some very fine pines, and 
behind and above these the walls rise so per- 
pendicularly that it is break-neck work to gaze 
at their summits for long. We walked in deep 
shade, astonished at the grandeur of it all, even 
after the many splendid sights we had seen, 
whilst the hollow murmurs of the stream echoed 
from side to side. 

They say this spot is wonderfully beautiful by 
moonlight ; and no doubt it is so, and if we had 
had time we should not have left it without a 
nocturnal visit. Here, as in all other grand and 
narrow canons, the photographer is completely 
foiled, and I might add, the artist also ; the preci- 
pices are far too high and too near to be repre- 
sented in a picture. Of course views can be 


taken looking straight up and down the stream, 
but these, fine though they may be, fail to give 
any idea of the profound impression the near 
view of the cliffs never fails to produce. Even 
in Norway comparatively few are the precipices 
so naked as these ; perhaps those most similar 
are to be found in the recesses of the Upper 
Aurlandsfjord, that very fine but comparatively 
seldom seen branch of the Aurlandsfjord which 
lies on your right as you come out of the far- 
famed N aero fjord. 

We lunched in the large summer-house on 
the right of the road, and I photographed the 
" chipmunks " whilst they shyly nibbled bits of 
bread and cake thrown out for them on to the 
slopes of coarse scree fallen from the canon 
side [Plate XLIL] The old chipmunks were 
very fat, the young very lean, but beautifully 
coloured. A table, however rough, would have 
been a welcome addition to the fixed forms, 
the sole furniture in this shelter, which must 
be grateful indeed to the traveller, should 
wet weather come on. Meantime the canon 
resounded with the shrieks and cries of a number 
of school-children, who appeared fairly to revel 
in the extra noise the nature of their surround- 
ings made them able to raise. If the voices had 
been only rather fainter and less full of pleasure, 
I could easily have imagined that they were the 
"thin, shrill screams" of some long procession 
of spirits, driven through the mournful passage 
leading to Orcus by the compelling Messenger 
of the Gods ; for the sunlight had faded out of 
heaven, and under a canopy of cloud the walls 


looked gloomy, cold, and stern, as any of Dore's 
pictures of the Inferno. 

The gorge turns to the right soon after passing 
our picnicking spot, and on rounding the corner 
one is surprised to find how short the canon is. 
It ends in a small basin, completely shut in with 
high precipices. On the right, as you enter, a 
stream plunges in seven successive stages down 
the grim water-worn wall ; only the last three of 
the seven are visible from the bottom of the 
canon, but on the left of these as you look at 
them, a steep zig-zag of substantial ladders, 
resting on strong supports, firmly fixed into the 
almost perpendicular cliff, makes it possible and 
easy for any one to ascend past all the cascades, 
and to get a grand view of the cul-de-sac from 
above. At the top you are in an open valley, 
prettily wooded, and the flowers and shrubs by 
the side of the gentle stream form many small 
and exquisite pictures. Further on, there are 
gold mines, but we did not travel far. On the 
way back we made a halt for photographic 
purposes, and after regaining our carriage, drove 
back to the Springs by the road which leads past 
the Casino, and affords lovely views of the 
prairie and of the Pike's Peak Mountains. 

At dinner, some printed notices laid by our 
plates reminded us that the kinematoscope was at 
work in the town, showing in several separate 
scenes the fight between Fitz-Simmons and 
Corbett. Wishing to see how such exhibitions 
in America compared with those at home, I took 
a seat, perhaps rather too near the screen, and 
witnessed the struggle between the two athletes. 


The flicker was unpleasant throughout, which 
means that somehow or other more pictures 
should be thrown on the screen per second ; and 
what is more trying to the eyes is the want of 
correct "register" in successive views, which 
causes the whole view on the screen to wobble up 
and down through a small distance, perhaps two 
or three inches. This often made it impossible 
to follow any rapid action, and I should think 
might be partly due to the nature of the film on 
which the pictures are taken. On the whole, I 
do not think this particular show was nearly 
so good as the " Biograph " entertainment in 

One thing interested me a good deal. I 
noticed that a man sitting next to me viewed the 
pictures through two small holes, cut out in a 
sheet of dark-coloured paper. He told me it 
notably lessened the flicker. I tried the plan, 
and found it work, as my informant said : but 
it cut off too much light to my mind, so I did 
not use it long. Several of the scenes which 
happened just after the wrestling were shown. 
A man passing in the foreground looked up for 
an instant towards the audience with a tragically 
woe-begone expression, whilst the conductor or 
expositor, whichever he should be called — simply 
remarked, " That is Mr. So-and-so ; he has just 
lost 70,000 dollars ! " Perhaps that is not the 
exact sum mentioned ; in any case it was large 
enough to provoke most unfeeling mirth on the 
part of the spectators. 


S our train for the East was not 
due to leave the Springs till the 
evening, and we did not wish to 
lose any chance of seeing more 
of this wonderful region, to which 
I found we grew more attached 
every day that we stayed in it, we spent the 
morning next day in Williams' Canon. Whilst it 
is not nearly so grand as the South Cheyenne, 
the entrance is the narrowest I have seen, and is 
only an inch or two wider than the breast-pole of 
a "- Surrey." The rocks, too, lie in thin strata, 
almost horizontally, and are often very much 
undercut, projecting over the road in huge flat 
slabs. The cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, or that 
dark headland of Muckross, not far from the 
little-known but exquisite coast under Slieve 
League, Donegal, are like these, but on a larger 
scale altogether. 

Near the top of the canon the road crosses the 
bed of a stream, and winds in long zig-zags up the 
western side of the cliffs. The first part of the 


track lies far below, white and narrow, and over 
the canon appears the endless prairie. We stop 
for a moment at the Cave of the Winds, and then 
proceed by a footpath for a few minutes across 
the ridge dividing Williams' Canon from the Ute 
Pass : a magnificent panorama of the Peak and 
its attendant mountains, all bathed in sunshine, 
opens in front ; and when a carriage-road takes 
the place of the foot-trail, there will not be a 
finer drive than up the one canon and down into 
the other, and through it home again ; and the 
Caves to be seen on the way will add to the 
attraction. I hope this road will soon be made ; 
it will not be a very difficult task, so far as I can 

After descending a few steps, the little wooden 
house in front of the Manitou Grand Cavern lies 
before us : the guide lights two paraffin lamps, 
hands one to me, and with the other leads down 
a long, cool passage, stopping now and then to 
point out curious stalactites. At our special 
request, he makes straight for the so-called organ, 
a set of these hanging, brownish-white spindles, 
high up on the right side of our dark road. 
Kindling a piece of magnesium ribbon, he holds 
it up so as to cast the different "pipes" into 
relief. We can see them all clearly in the cold 
light. They are close together, the longer ones 
in the centre of the group ; each tapering nearly 
to a point at the lower end, and joined to a boss 
of the crystalline limestone formation at the 
upper. So far they are only a fine group of 
stalactites — nothing more ; but the guide takes a 
sort of drumstick with a muffled head, and strikes 


the organ-pipes in some well-learnt order, and all 
through the dimly-lit cavern ring soft, bell-like 
notes, but of a peculiar character, sometimes 
almost nasal, but impossible to express in words. 
Thus we heard " Rousseau's Dream," and other 
airs, ending with "God save the Queen" — the 
tune of which, curiously enough, as learned at one 
of the late Sir F. Gore-Ouseley's lectures given 
in the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford, was com- 
posed (as it should have been) by a veritable 
" John Bull." 

I find that considerably more than a complete 
octave of each of the diatonic scales of C and F 
can be elicited from this wonderful, natural 
musical instrument. I heard both of these scales 
played, and can vouch for the truth of the state- 
ment. The intervals are not accurate, and in 
some cases the curious overtones of which each 
resultant sound is composed, make it a little 
difficult to hear the actual note intended, but 
there is no difficulty in recognising any tune in 
the least degree familiar. I asked the performer 
whether he got more than one note out of a 
single pipe, thinking it likely that a tube, if hit 
near the free end, would give a sound much below 
that which you would hear most plainly if it were 
hit nearer its root, and I found that he did use 
some of the pipes in this way ; but the true 
marvel of such an instrument lies in the immense 
improbability of a chance arrangement of deposit 
from hanging drops of hard water yielding rods 
of such length and thickness as to give the 
succession of notes actually found here. In the 
Gough's Caverns at Cheddar, in Somerset, to 



my mind the finest to be seen in the Old 
Country, there are three stalactites next each 
other in one place, which give the common chord 
(I forget in what key), but I have never heard of 
any fortuitous result of the kind to compare with 
this grand organ, which must rank as one of the 
musical wonders of the world. I asked whether 
any of the stalactites had been artificially shortened 
to raise the pitch of their notes, and was assured 
that nothing of the kind had ever been done ; 
that one or two had been broken off short by too 
rough handling, my guide admitted, but declared 
that otherwise they * were just as nature made 
them. After listening again to the scales played 
up and down, and with their soft liquid notes still 
ringing in our ears, we came out into the blinding 
daylight again, and drove back to the Springs, 
through the Garden of the Gods, frequently 
stopping to photograph, 

It was a glorious day, and the monstrous rocks 
of the Garden looked more impressive than ever. 
If we had only had time, and Colonel Palmer 
had been at home, I should have liked to inspect 
the little canon behind his house, where perhaps 
lurk unsuspected wonders. As things were, our 
last natural curiosity was a dyke of gypsum, some 
of it finely crystallised in fragments of what is 
popularly called satin spar. But even whilst 
looking for specimens of this, thoughts of packing 
would intrude ; and so it turned out that, thanks 
to the excellent electric car service, it was but 
little past six when Antlers' received us, and from 
then till we left we were both engaged in the 
indescribably exasperating process of trying to 


get original luggage, plus accretions, into the 
compass of the orginal packages. But it was 
done at last, except for the gong and the jar of 
preserves ; the first was altogether of a different 
dimension to the available space, and the second 
had shown already what it would do by way of 
vengeance if once locked up in a crowded 

Soon after eight o'clock, in bright moonlight, 
we watched the sparkling lights of Colorado 
Springs, as they grew nearer and nearer together, 
and fainter and fainter in the rapidly increasing 
distance; and, when they had gone, the fast 
fading outlines of Pike's Peak. So to the last we 
were reminded of our visits to the different valleys 
and passes, and felt genuinely sorry to be saying 
a long " Goodbye " to a district so full of 
delightful things. 

As I write, it seems more like six weeks than 
six days since we first saw the Peak in the 
distance, and quite a year from our landing in 
America. By far the best part of our trip is 
over. Looking back, it is very hard to say 
which we have enjoyed most, each place has been 
so different from the last. Niagara every one 
talks so much about, that mere curiosity to see if 
they are right would make one visit it. Then 
as to Yellowstone Park, there is no other place 
at all like it in the world ; and so it could not 
possibly be missed out. Yosemite — the peerless 
valley — Norwegian scenery may give some idea 
of it, but then in Norway there are no big trees, 
and the most vivid picture must fall far short of 
the grand reality. And lastly, Colorado, perhaps 


a little disappointing at first sight, is a place which 
after even five days' stay it is not pleasant to 
leave, as we are finding out by experience. For 
myself, I simply wish I could live in all these 
places at once — yes, and a thousand more. How 
soon, alas, the memory of colours fades ! How 
impossible it is to recall those of any scene in 
detail ! — almost harder when looking at a photo- 
graph with its one tint, than in the darkness of 
night, by unaided imagination. This, perhaps, is 
one reason why the roughest colour-sketch made 
on the spot gives such satisfaction afterwards. 
Poor as it is, it helps the weak memory, and 
brings back to the painter, if to no one else, the 
reality, and also the true and wholesome sense of 
how very far he failed to represent it. 

But to continue. We are now in Tarry Town, 
on the Hudson, after three days of uninterrupted 
travel, the roar of the train not yet out of our 
heads; very glad, in spite of the comfort of Ameri- 
can trains, to think that we have no more of them 
to look forward to, for it has been exceedingly hot, 
even for this part of the world. Fortunately we 
managed to secure beforehand for the whole of 
the way the privacy of the little compartment 
which goes by the name of the drawing-room ; 
although, as one of the black servants told 
me, some prefer the car proper, adding, " The 
drawing - room's the worst place if anything 

Let me draw aside the curtain for a moment : 
Time about 3 p.m. Position — somewhere west of 
Kansas City (and in many other places too). 
Place — the said compartment. Persons — H. and 


myself, sitting opposite each other; H. lies back 
in the corner of the seat with closed eyes, or 
looking through, instead of at, a book ; I, with a 
wet sponge constantly damp forehead, cheeks, 
hands, and wrists. Four wet towels are suspended 
by their full length in different parts of the little 
room. I rise slowly to re-soak one of them, 
now dry, though thoroughly wetted only twenty 
minutes ago (twenty seconds, it seems to me). 
No word is spoken — but much is implied. The 
towel is rinsed, and brought out dripping with 
warmish water, and after I have silently applied it 
to the windows, which dry almost as soon as 
wetted, it is hung up. A sponge is also useful 
to sprinkle water over the floor ! I look at the 
thermometer, dangling by a bit of string from 
overhead, and remark aloud that it reads 96 
instead of 98 , and then sit down and try to 
read " Father Stafford " in a disconnected kind of 
way : but cannot remember where I left off before 
wetting the last towel again. Just as I have 
found the place, the train slackens, and draws up at 
a station, but the blind is not raised even an inch 
to look out, for fear of undoing any good the wet 
towels may have done. Again I rise, and feel the 
evaporators (!) — two of them dry and stiff already ! 
Soak them afresh — take a sip of iced water — so 
does H. The heat seems doubly great in this 
station ; the woodwork near the windows is 
almost too hot to touch. Look at thermometer — 
again 98 — and say, " Two hours more of this ! " 
The big bell of the engine clangs like a tocsin, 
and off we go, whilst the struggle with the heat 
begins anew. This continues till near sunset. 


I read a sensational article in one of the papers, 
headed in the usual heavy type, to the effect that 
an American professor explains the abnormal 
number of sunspots this year, by supposing that 
a new planet is about to break off from the sun, 
and draws a glowing picture of the effects this 
may have — nay, is even likely to have, on the 
earth. In our present condition, I could almost 
believe that his predictions were already beginning 
to be fulfilled, and wish the train were steady 
enough to let me steal a look at the sun through 
the powerful little telescope I carry in a handbag. 
Later on, during a stop, I get a steady glimpse, 
by putting a piece of match-smoked glass before 
the eye-piece, but not a single spot is to be seen ; 
so, if there are any big ones, they must be round 
the other side, and we still have a few days left ! 
In the smoking-room there are two or three 
men, more asleep than awake. One of them, 
however, opens conversation by "guessing" I'm 
from England, and I reply by some questions on 
silver as a standard 'metal. He tells me, " All 
that's played out." I said I understood it was a 
burning question in America. " Well," he replied, 
" it was — but it don't trouble us now." The 
others joined in, and, much to my surprise, they 
seemed to think that things had far better remain 
as they are, and expressed their conviction that 
" no one knows what would have happened if the 
Silverites had had their way." 

Kansas City at last ! But what a black, smoky 
sky ! and how intensely stuffy the air is. The 
sinking sun shows through like a dull red-hot 
plate. Every one is complaining of the heat. 


The thought of staying in the atmosphere inside 
and near the depot for two hours is intolerable. 
We drive up the steep hill above the station, to a 
large hotel, and are speedily lifted to the highest 
storey. With open windows, just a breath of air 
is to be had ; and so we sit, with a small tea-table 
between us, till it is time to drive down again. It 
is a little cooler now, but still a long way over 
8o° F., and after settling in for the night's journey 
I open one window. This is a mistake. Whilst 
sleeping, multitudes of gritty cinders flock into 
my berth, worse than bread-crumbs. Towards 
midnight, on waking, the altered colour of what 
is generally white is quite plain, even by moon- 
light, and much shaking and smoothing with the 
hand is necessary before anything like sleep can 
be had. Even then, it is only broken, and in the 
grey uncertain light of the dawn, on looking out, 
I find we are crawling, evidently with extreme 
caution, over the great Mississippi, into whose 
waters we look straight down from the car's 

What a grand sight this noble river is ! We 
are about midway over now, and the trees and 
houses on both shores look quite small and dim ; 
and how the girders of the long bridge creak and 
groan with the weight of the train ! The oily 
waters flow beneath the tracks with never a ripple, 
reflecting the moon clear and round ; and as we 
near the opposite shore, it is just light enough to 
see that every tree and stone is mirrored in the 
sleepy river. The bridge, I afterwards learnt, is 
one of the finest in America, and more than 
strong enough to stand any strain to which it is 


the least likely to be put ; but just now it is under 
repair, which fully accounts for the way we crept 
over it. And so on to St. Louis ; and, after 
another broiling day, to Cincinnati. 

That night, in passing through the Alleghany 
Mountains, our engines break down, and for a 
while we make very slow progress. Then, just 
before coming- to one of the many tunnels, the 
drivers spy some horses on the line ahead. All 
the noises both they and the engine can make 
have not the slightest effect. The horses refuse 
to get out of the way, and of course, if the train 
starts before they are off the line, they will be 
driven into the pitch-dark tunnel. To prevent 
this, two or three of the men alight, and some 
time passes before the animals are driven to the 

By morning, the prettiest part of the scenery is 
past, but there is a cool breeze blowing, and we 
fly past river and woods. Here some boys are 
fishing from rocks, which must make the stream 
quite impossible for any vessel larger than a 
rowing boat to navigate. There, a group of 
bathers laugh and shout. Presently country 
villas crop up on the hillsides ; they thicken and 
become a city, whilst yonder white and stately 
dome, rising far above all, proclaims Washington 
Capitol without need of words. Again I wish 
for a spare day ; all I can do is, regardless of 
any possible regulations, to swarm up the green 
embankment which shuts out the view of this 
marvellously grand and lovely building from the 
station, and, gazing at its upper parts, supply the 
rest from memory of photographs and pictures. 


Even this partial view is not to be forgotten 
quickly. Some day, perhaps, I may see it again 
with plenty of time to spare ; and also visit the 
places sacred, not only to the people of the 
United States, but to all who reverence earnest, 
resolute men, devoted to the best interests of 
their country, sometimes at the sacrifice of life 

But time is up, and again we speed east, flitting 
past wide estuaries and low shores. The sky 
becomes overcast, and, in the double gloom of 
cloud and twilight, we steam into Jersey City, 
under heavy thunder-showers. It feels quite 
cold ; and whilst we wait for the Hudson river 
train, the heavens are constantly lit up by brilliant 
flashes of lightning, one every four to six seconds, 
chiefly white and blue. There is little thunder, 
showing that the discharges are mostly between 
cloud and cloud, or spread over wide areas ; but 
what there is might fitly prelude earth's final scene. 

The cars for the Hudson are crowded with 
interesting and lively people, who seem to think 
for themselves, and not to allow, as so many in 
the Old Country do, others to do all the thinking 
for them. They consequently differ in opinion 
and practice more than we do amongst ourselves ; 
and, if it is true that the hope of a race lies in 
differences both between individuals, and in 
environments which tend to foster these differ- 
ences, and thereby differentiate one man from 
another, the States have a bright future before 
them. From the little I saw and heard they are 
happily free from institutions which, by a species 
of mental or physical oppression, turn out sets of 


men all alike. True progress seems to me bound 
up with the preservation and practical recognition 
of the right of private judgment, a right which, 
although half secured in some countries at the 
cost of tremendous sacrifice, some men do not 
appear to appreciate, and make very little effort 
to preserve from the hands of others, who are 
anxious, for reasons only to be guessed, to do 
their thinking for them. 

But by this time the train has reached Tarry 
Town, and in the darkness we drive up the steep 
hill to the Mot House. The absolute quiet of 
this peaceful spot is very delightful after our days 
of travelling ; which, I suppose, seem longer to 
a " Britisher " than to most visitors. Our ex- 
presses are so good, and the distances they run 
so small, that even the journey from the Scilly 
Isles, by G.W.R. to London, and thence to Perth, 
and Inverness, and so across to Strome Ferry and 
Portree — the longest trip I have made in our 
Islands — seems nothing in comparison. 

Last night I was worried by a mosquito, and 
think I ought to mention it, because it is the only 
one I have seen whilst in America. It is now 
dead — of that I am certain — but it took much 
trouble to locate, spite of the persistence with 
which it sought a violent end. Perhaps it 
imagined that with a little more perseverance, the 
repeated blows which were intended for it, but 
which it avoided with such consummate skill, 
would prove fatal to me, either directly or 
through supervening exhaustion, and leave it 
complete master of the field and feast : the 
event, however, turned out otherwise. 


To-day we have seen one or two "places" of 
the wealthy people of New York, and think them, 
and all the citizens, most fortunate in having such 
scenery within so short a distance. The gardens or 
parks (they are not exactly either) are beautifully 
kept by quite a host of gardeners, I should fancy ; 
and the blue and sparkling river, dotted over with 
the white sails of dainty yachts, sailing by ruddy 
cliffs and high banks of trees, forms a scene so 
bright and full of pure pleasure, that it must soon 
drive away all but the worst city cares. Yet I 
hear that, just at present, these delightful places 
of retirement and rest are taxed far beyond what 
seems reasonable to many people — even, perhaps, 
beyond the actual value of the land. If so, 
visitors may possibly enjoy the prospect more 
than the owners. I, for one, feel grateful for the 
permission to drive through, which I believe is 
generously extended to all alike. 

The woods and fields are full of ferns and 
flowers, and the open view from the top of the 
hill is exquisite — one of the most restful combina- 
tions of river, wood, and gentle rounded hills 
imaginable, with low white houses and cottages 
peeping out along the winding shores. A deep 
veranda, with a large number of most comfortable 
chairs scattered about it, runs right round the old 
house ; and our last evening in the New World 
slipped by in silence, broken only by soothing 
country sounds — the faint chirrup of a sleepy bird, 
the muffled steps of lovers and their lasses, 
enjoying the delights of a moonlit ramble, free at 
last to exchange their one or thousand thoughts. 
Now a bat wheels its circles of noiseless flight 


just by our heads ; or the thud of distant screw 
or paddle draws the eyes to where glimmering 
lights on mast and hull are passing on the dark 
water. Then all is hushed for a time, except for 
the leaves of the creepers, stirring in the cool 
night breeze, while the waning moon creeps up the 
sky. We must go indoors — and so good-night. 

Not much more remains to be told. Eight 
o'clock next morning saw us in a heavily-laden 
" Surrey," carefully descending the hill. We 
reached New York in a train crowded with 
business men, and drove straight to the Ferry, 
and thence to the R.M.S. Tetttonic. 

Gliding down the wide estuary, we watched 
the dark Statue of Liberty. The profile, which I 
think might be much finer, gradually changes to 
full face as we steam slowly by, and, from this 
point of view, the figure is very grand, even 
inspiring. Perhaps the best wish one can frame 
for America, or for any other country, is, that it 
may find the true spirit of liberty dwelling with 
its people, whether they live under monarchy or 
democracy. History has often proved that the 
form of government matters little compared with 
its spirit. Whether America is freer from the 
bondage of money, party, and sin, than other 
nations are, must be a difficult matter to deter- 
mine, even for those who know her and other 
nations well ; but, whatever be the truth, it was 
surely a noble thought that prompted the erection 
of this colossal witness to the professed ideal of 
the world, at what is the very entrance to the 
Western half of it for so many hundreds of 
thousands. And whilst she stands, a solemn 


monument to the struggles of past years, with a 
grave welcome for the stranger, and a blessing 
for those who are leaving, she seems to bid all 
who pass to keep the torch burning, and, when 
their days of work are run, to hand on the sacred 
flame to others. 

Before long we had left the statue far behind, 
and, with a bright blue sky and calm sea, the long, 
low coast gradually faded and vanished. Of the 
six days following but little need be said. Every 
one knows how comfortable a splendid boat like 
the Teutonic is. What was described as a "head 
sea " in the abstract of the log given to each of 
us on reaching Liverpool, we scarcely noticed. 
With pleasant company and congenial companions 
the time flew as fast as it ever does. We had 
two horned toads on board, brought by one of 
the passengers from Colorado. They were 
occasionally let loose on deck, and stirred 
up to take a little wholesome exercise. Once 
one of them made straight for a lady reclining in 
a deck chair, who did not exactly love toads, and 
disappeared under her skirts ; to say that she 
took no steps to avoid, nor yet to displace, the 
little creature, is to reveal that it was not every 
one who enjoyed the homeward trip as much 
as we did. The Commander very kindly 
listened to some of my ideas about the Gulf 
Stream ; but, though he agreed that much had yet 
to be done to unravel the North Atlantic currents, 
his own experience did not give me any positive 
support. He said that in the early summer he 
found evidence that the general Easterly drift 
was stronger than in the winter ; but he did not 


oppose my arguments from the tracks of the 
bottles, except to state that he thought it likely 
that prevalent winds had more to do with their 
directions than ocean-currents proper. 

And so the story of our wanderings ends. 
Already it seems hard to believe that we, our- 
selves, picked up the gigantic fir cones, which 
somehow look bigger here than ever they did in 
their native woods ; and as we sit in cosy chairs 
before the flickering firelight at home and talk 
over our American experiences, we seem already 
to be recounting incidents in some dream, so 
altogether apart from our every-day scenes and 
events do they appear. 

It was only on the return voyage that the 
chance word of a fellow-passenger made me 
think seriously of publishing this simple story : 
and if it should help Americans to know how 
much their grand country is appreciated ; still 
more, if by chance it should draw their attention 
to any points of beauty and interest they have 
not before noticed ; or if it kindles the wish in 
them, or in any one else, to see for themselves 
the wonders of the places we visited, and to write 
their own impressions, which must differ widely 
with different people and circumstances, the 
objects of the writer will be fully attained. And 
so he bids farewell. 



HE following short paper is in the main the 
result of a systematic examination of the 
Chart, showing the paths taken by bottles 
thrown overboard in various positions in 
the North Atlantic, which is published, 
along with the monthly Pilot Charts, for 
the instruction and assistance of navigators, 
by the Hydrographic Office, Washington, D.C., under the 
auspices of Charles D. Sigsbee, Commander, U.S.N. Should 
the results of further efforts to unravel the North Atlantic 
currents strengthen the theory which I venture here to put 
forward, my debt to the Government of the United States will 
be still further increased. 

From the chart I saw, and of which the Captain of the 
Etrnria kindly gave me a copy, I infer that the Gulf Stream 
is, to a certain extent, a periodic current. The reasons on 
which this conclusion is based are the following : — 

(i) If two bottles are thrown into the sea near the 
Newfoundland Banks, one at the end of June — say when the 
ice is brought down by the Labrador currents to low latitudes, 
and the other — say in February — when the ice is frozen in up 
north, the first takes a due easterly and then southerly course, 
whilst the second goes in the direction of the Gulf Stream as 
generally drawn in atlases (Keith Johnston's e.g.). i.e., in a 
north-easterly direction. Thus, by separating the bottles into 


two groups — (a) thrown in between the beginning of April 
and the end of July ; and (b) between the end of November 
and the beginning of March — we obtain, as a rule, two very 
different pictures to represent the Gulf Stream, so far as 
longitudes east of the longitude of Newfoundland Bank is 
concerned. This is well borne out by the chart referred to, 
and furnishes the principal argument. 

It is impossible, otherwise, to account for the way in which 
some of the paths of bottles cut others at quite large angles — 
unless the winds are the chief and direct causes of the motion 
of the waters, in which case the Gulf Stream, so far as our 
coasts are concerned, is not a true ocean-current, but a drift. 

(2) The Gulf Stream being a surface current of warm 
water, if it meets with a large extent of floe ice and bergs, 
it must be either deflected, or part with its heat in melting the 
ice, or carry the ice along with it. It cannot avoid the ice by 
flowing beneath it. That part which meets the ice must 
expend nearly all its heat in melting it, for every lb. of 
melting ice requires 1 lb. of water at 8o° C. to melt it (and the 
Gulf Stream water is certainly not more than 25 C. at the 
point where it meets with the ice of the Labrador current), the 
2 lbs. of water thus formed being at o° C. Thus if this part 
of the current survives its impact with these ice remnants at 
all, its waters must be so cooled that they sink below 
the surface — the bottles show that they do not exist as a 
surface current running north-east — and, if they sink under- 
neath, the additional friction must very greatly reduce the 
undercurrent's speed ; if, indeed, there is any speed left after 
threading through the ice : and, lastly, experience does not 
point to any great transfer of the ice by the Gulf Stream in a 
north-easterly direction. 

The bottles seem to me to show that much of the current is 
deflected, so that it soon bends round to the south, and, 
joining the general westerly drift, circulates past the north 
shore of South America, and, hugging the shores of the Gulf 
of Mexico, rejoins the Gulf Stream at the extremity of Florida. 
The course of several bottles fully proves this ; and, if the 
times of their circulation be taken, indicates that they take 
about seven hundred days to perform the circuit, the very 
much larger value in one or two cases showing that they have 
made this circuit two or more times before getting into the 
Gulf Stream when it is unimpeded, and so finally being landed 
outside the limits of the recurrent path. 


It will follow, too, that the time of year at which these 
circulating bottles pass through the Straits of Florida must 
settle in which direction they eventually go ; if it is about June 
or July they will circulate again, until they happen to return in 
the winter or spring when no ice is about, and then they will 
be carried north-west to the shores of Great Britain and 

(3) The Captain (and he says he will answer for many 
others of his class agreeing with him) thinks that very much 
still remains to be done before men can say they under- 
stand the North Atlantic currents. In the winter, although 
the ice is fast up north, the Labrador current seems to be 
stronger than in the summer — judging from the increase in the 
length's run by the steamers when in the sphere of its 
influence. He does not think that the large icebergs and 
floes found south of the Banks can be the same year's ice, as 
there would not be enough time for it to come so far south 
between its melting (in April or May) and its being observed 
in June. 

On the other hand, a Montreal leading man tells me that in 
June, or before, the way to the Atlantic is practically open for 
traders from that part of Canada — who often meet with very 
little ice, though always with some — and if it were not for this 
they would not at present be trying to open a road for ship 
traffic north of Newfoundland. Earlier than June, he says, 
the ships have to come south of Newfoundland by an almost 
land-locked channel. 

A glance at the bottle-chart T will be sufficient to prove that 
though throughout the year the surface waters show an easterly 
drift, they cannot be said to move as they should, if the 
ordinary maps of the Gulf Stream represent facts. Take the 
paths of bottles like 61 and 34, 2 for example, cutting at an 
angle greater than 45 ; or see how the tracks cross each other 
south of Newfoundland, and at once it becomes clear that 
even making the allowances for the errors inevitable to this kind 
of experiment , something must cause the water in which the 
bottles are embedded (all but neck, and in some cases 
shoulders) to vary its direction through large angles. The first 
question to be answered is, what happens where the warm Gulf 
Stream and the ice brought down by the cold Labrador 

1 Reproduced on page 216. 

2 The numbers refer to the number given to each bottle on the chart. 



current meet ? Warm water and ice being both specifically 
lighter than the cold sea water underneath them cannot avoid 
such a meeting ; that they do so meet is abundantly proved by 
the fact that the ice floes and bergs are not carried further 
south by the cold current. Neither the ice nor the warm water 
can descend below the surface. If the Gulf Stream is strong 
enough to carry the whole body of ice with it, then it seems 
that the floes and bergs should be found further east than they 
occur ; and even if carried along in this way, the effect of the 
large masses of ice in cooling the warm water of the current 
would be very marked from the length of time during which 
they are in contact. But the masses of floes and bergs are 
found to collect from the end of May to the beginning of 
August mainly in groups lying west of 4 2° W. long. ; most, in 
fact, west of 48 W. long. ; and their tendency is to drive 
in a southerly rather than north-easterly course. It seems 
scarcely possible that the Gulf Stream should thread these 
masses of floating ice; it would with less difficulty carry all 
along with it. It should be borne in mind that the ice is 
continually forced further south against the Gulf Stream by 
the powerful current from the north — it is a sustained conflict 
of the two currents — and although the Gulf Stream might be 
able to carry with it the ice floes, were they in still water 
to begin with, the result is at least likely to be very different 
when they are subject to a continuous acceleration — the very 
fact that the floes remain in about the same position, or drift 
very slowly south, would tend to prove that either the two 
streams were fairly matched on the ice arena, or that there the 
advantage is slightly in favour of the Labrador opponent. 
Further, the two currents do not merely slide past each other. 
Innumerable observations prove beyond doubt that each 
current is separated by the other where they meet, into long 
streams of alternately hot and cold water, the icy fingers of the 
North clasped in the warm grasp of the South. The fogs often 
follow these water stripes, and a very curious form of mirage 
sometimes results, in which the horizon appears shaped thus — 


the depressed portions being over the warm streams, the 
elevated over the cold. Probably along with this point-blank 
contact there is also sliding contact. If so, the ice floes should 
be set rotating to the north of the Gulf Stream, in the cyclonic 
direction, i.e., contrary to the hands of a clock. There seems 
but little direct evidence for or against such a rotation ; if it 
exists at all, it is very slow. Thus it does not appear im- 
probable that much of the warm water is so far entangled, or 
cooled in melting the ice, that it is no longer specifically lighter 
than the colder water below, and so, mingling with it, ceases to 
travel as an ocean current proper. For the rest of the Gulf 
Stream, there seems but one course open to it. Its direction 
has been deflected almost due east by the accumulated ice, 
level with, and south of the Banks j or if not exactly deflected, 
it is only the southern portion of the current, which has not met 
with ice, that survives to flow eastwards, and this has a far more 
easterly direction than the northern (due to the spreading of 
the hot water on the surface of the cold). Moreover there is 
no reason why any northern component of the Gulf Stream's 
motion should ever be replaced if it has once lost it, for (a) it 
must lie on the surface being warm water, hence the form of 
the ocean bed cannot affect it, and (b) the shore, which in the 
first part of its journey gave it a northerly impetus, is hundreds 
of miles further west ; thus, once let it be deflected in a more 
southerly direction, it will remain so, flowing eastwards, growing 
thinner and cooler, till at last, joining water of its own specific 
gravity, it becomes lost in the Equatorial Drift westwards, or 
the south travelling African current. Thus so far as the 
Atlantic north of lat. 42 is concerned, whilst the ice is melting, 
there will be little or no true warm ocean current crossing it. 
Objects floating on the ocean waters will be left to take their 
direction from the prevalent winds, and these being at that 
time of year chiefly north-westerly, will give them paths more 
south-easterly than they would have followed had the Gulf 
Stream been present to contribute a north-easterly component 
to their motion. And so one is naturally led to suppose that 
if a group of bottles be thrown overboard at different seasons 
in about the same part of the ocean, we shall find that the 
mean direction of their course is more northerly, if they are set 
afloat at the time when all round the coasts of Newfoundland 
the ice is riveted to the mainland by the frosts of winter and 
spring j and more southerly, when the summer sun has thawed 
he bonds which held the ice in check, and set it free to float 



southwards on the cold waters of the Labrador current. We 
shall expect some variation from variations in the weather of 
different years ; but since accumulated evidence shows that 
the liberated ice drifts are at their maximum in the part where 
they meet the Gulf Stream water in June and July, often 

of considerable magnitude in May, and not altogether melted 
even by August, we shall expect the southerly routes to occur 
in this part of the year, the southerly tendency being less 
noticeable as a rule in late April and May, August and Sep- 
tember, than in June and July. Conversely we shall expect 



the most northerly paths in January and February and March, 
the coldest months of the year, and a distinct but gradual 
recovery from the summer's tracks already in progress from 
October or even September (by which month the ice is usually 
melted) as the ocean current little by little overcomes the 
inertia of the more slowly moving waters ahead, and once more 
establishes its north-easterly course. The table bears this out 
in the most striking way, as will be seen in the following selec- 
tion from it. 

Example i, in which the paths are shown by arrows parallel 
to the apparent mean direction of path. 

The dotted line parallel to the bottom of the page signifies 
a path whose mean direction lay east and west. 

The numbers in the circles refer to the number of the bottles 
on the chart. 

Group of bottles started close together in Mid- Atlantic about 
51 N. lat., 30 W. long. 


Example 2. — Group started not very far from the west 
coast of Ireland, i.e., lat. 50 N., long, about 20 W. 

Example 3. — Pair started off Newfoundland, 49 N. lat., 
50 W. long. 

No. 14, started in June, went south to Bordeaux. 

No. 26, started in November, went north to Glasgow. 

Example 4. — Pair started S.E. of the Banks, 42 N. lat., 
45 W. long. 

No. 8, started in October, went south to West Indies. 

No. 40, started in March, went north to Brest. 

Example 5. — Or take the four southerly courses of the four 
bottles which, starting from different places, landed in the Bay 
of Biscay. Arranged with the least southerly course first. 
No. 3, May 21. 
No. 14, July 24, 1895. 
No. 62, July 25, 1896. 
No. 61, June 24. 

If this hypothesis of the variability of the Gulf Stream, so far 
as the Atlantic further east than the latitude of Newfoundland 
is concerned, is correct, the time of year when this ocean 
current should have its maximum northerly direction is in the 
late autumn, from the day when, after it has practically over- 
come all the ice, it has had time to re-establish its north- 
easterly circulation, to the day when the fresh ice, which by 
early spring has formed a wide solid peninsula jutting out far 
east and south of Newfoundland, extends far enough south to 
graze the Gulf Stream — this, so far as I can learn, happens in 
January or February — so that during March and April the 
northernmost waters of the Gulf Stream will then probably 
suffer some deflection or loss, in meeting with and melting the 
south-eastern limit of this vast floe. Thus, though the great 
mass of warm water will have a free path north-easterly 
across the ocean to our shores, even as late as the beginning 
of May, the tracks of bottles will not be likely to run quite 
so rapidly north as they do in late autumn and early 

From May, through the hottest months of our year, though 
an easterly drift undoubtedly continues, due to the direction 
of the prevalent westerly winds, I believe that there is little or 
no Gulf Stream proper, east of the latitude of the Banks and 
north of lat. 42 say ; and if so, a fresh instance of wonderful 
economy is afforded, for the hot water is largely used in melt- 
ng ice during the months when the climate of Western 



Europe is warm enough without it, and is free to flow towards 
the Old World only when summer is waning, attaining its 
highest north-easterly velocity during the coldest part of our 
year, when without the remains of such a warm current, or the 
moist air blown from it, our ports in all probability would be 
fast bound with ice. 

Appended is a list of all the bottles thrown overboard north 
of lat. 40 N., and west of long. 30 W., exclusive of Nos. 1, 7, 
8, and 77, on account of the remarks made in the printed 
notes attached to the chart. They are arranged so that the 
first is that which took the most northerly mean course, the 
next less northerly, and so on, and the date of starting is 
attached to each. 

No. 6, *May 21, 1893 
No. 30, Nov. 26, 1895 
No. 33, Jan. 13, 1896 
No. 34, Jan. 25, 1896 
No. 36, Feb. a 1, 1896 
No. 27, Nov. 3, 1895 
No. 39, March 11, 1896 
No. 26, Nov. i, 1895 
No. 40, March 20, 1896 / 

No. 3, March 21, 1893 

A very slow drift, 2*9 
miles per day. 

All went north. 

This was found in prac- 
tically the same latitude as 
that in which it was set afloat. 

All went south. 

No. 71, Sept. 5, 1896 
No. 50, May 8, 1896 
No. 62, June 25, 1896 
No. 55, June i, 1896 
No. 14, June 24, 1895 
No. 61, June 24, 1896 
No. 72, Sept. 7, 1896 
No. 15, July 17, 1895 
No. 5, *March 26, 1894 / 

Though there are two — curiously the first and last — which 
do not conform to the hypothesis, and which are marked with 
an asterisk — to say nothing of the effect of storms — the track 
followed by No. 6 is rendered doubtful by its average drift 
being very slow, and No. 5 started rather to the east of 
the Gulf Stream's course as usually marked. 

To sum up : Our present maps of the Gulf Stream are 
broadly untrue to nature, because they show the more 


northerly and the more southerly courses of the Stream as 
though they existed at the same time; whereas the truth probably 
is that only one of them exists — the Southern — in June and 
July, whilst only the northern flows in January and February. 
In other months there will be more of one and less of the 
other, according to the nearness of the particular month to 
the seasons above mentioned, and the particular meteoro- 
logical conditions of the year. Moreover the southern current 
at its strongest will not be so strong as the northern, since 
it is only that part of the Stream which has not met with the 
cold Labrador current and its ice j and this southern current 
falling in quickly with the trade winds is soon deflected west- 
wards, and so prevented from warming the coasts of Africa at 
their hottest seasons. 

The Gulf Stream, east of the Bank of Newfoundland, would 
thus appear to be periodically variable both in direction and 
in volume. 



That the lines of falling foam cause an apparent increase in 
the breadth of the American Fall is proved, I think, by inspec- 
tion of the two pictures of the Falls in the accompanying 
illustrations : one shaded by furrows, the other left plain ; 
the plain one, to my eyes, appearing not so broad, and also 
a trifle higher than the other, though as a matter of fact it 
is the broader of the two. It is well known that of two equal 
straight lines, one divided into a number of equal parts 
by short lines, and the other left intact, the divided line 
always looks the longer ; but the fact that stout people wear 
dresses striped vertically, and always avoid those striped across 
{i.e., horizontally) — the effect of the former being to make 
them appear thinner or taller, or both, and that of the latter 
the reverse — this at first sight seems to imply that the Falls 
should look both higher and narrower from the effect of the 
foam furrows, which the illustrations show is not the case. 
The illusion produced in articles of dress is due, so far as I 
can see, to the lines narrowing together towards the sides, 

[To face p. 220. 


owing to their being seen in perspective, and not only to the 
fact that the stripes are vertical. 

Thus the square (a) with equidistant vertical lines looks a 
little broader than it is high, whilst the precisely equal square 
(6), shaded with the same number of lines so as to resemble 
the front view of a striped dress on a person, looks higher than 

it is broad ; and moreover, if the two squares be compared, 
the "perspective" square seems to have shorter horizontal 
edges than the other. 

The effect is still more striking when the square, shaded so 
as to look cylindrical, has a greater number of lines as (c). 
In judging of the relative dimensions of the squares, the eyes 
should be as centrally as possible over each in turn. 




Mirage, a curious optical illusion, which is far more com- 
mon on a small scale than most people imagine, depends upon 
two facts : — 

i. That the place in which one sees an object depends upon 
the direction the rays from it take when they are entering the 
eye, and not on the path they pursued when leaving the 
object; and 

2. That rays of light only travel in straight lines under cer- 
tain conditions, so that suppose A is an object {vide Fig. I.) 
reflecting or emitting a ray of light, ABC, which is curved 
downwards, entering the eye of an observer at C, the latter 
will not see A where it really is, but somewhere along the line, 
C D, which is the prolongation in a straight line of the part of 
the ray, ABC, just entering the eye at C. Now if, on a 
certain day, the air is much more dense (from cold, say) near 
the ground than it is higher up, the rays will actually be bent 
like this, so that all objects in the position of A will appear 
lifted up, and things may become visible which would, under 
ordinary circumstances, be hidden by the curve of the earth's 
surface, or are, as we generally say, " below the horizon." 

On the other hand, if the sun has heated the surface of the 
ground so that the air near it is much hotter than that higher 
up ; or if it is the Gulf Stream which has heated the air over 
its warm waters with the same result; the rays of light are 
curved upwards, as in the second figure, where A is supposed, 
for example, to be a particle of a white cloud, or of blue sky, 
sending a ray, ABC, which enters the eye of the observer, C, 
in the direction of C D. The result will be that C will see A, 
not at A, but at some point along C D — say D. The distance 
from C to D in both cases is, generally speaking, very nearly 
equal to C A, so that, as a rule, mirage does not make objects 
seem much nearer or more distant. A little thought will show 
that the nearer the eye is to the ground the more favourable is 
the position for seeing a mirage ; and often by stooping or 
lying down such effects may be seen when they are scarcely 
noticeable four or five feet above the ground. 

There is another effect which is due, not to the refraction 



or bending of the rays of light, as they traverse layers of air of 
different degrees of rarefaction or density, but to that curious 
and perfect reflection to which rays of light are sometimes 
subject if, in travelling through a medium, they fall obliquely 
on a surface separating it from a rarer stratum. This is best 
explained, perhaps, with the help of a figure. 

Suppose A in Fig. III. is a point of a distant object — a moun- 
tain, say — one set of rays, A O C, travel straight in the colder 
air to the eye of an observer at C, and by these rays he sees 
the mountain at A where it really is ; but another set of rays 

Mirog* Fi£ ) 


Fig. III. 

from A, which would not ordinarily pass near him, are reflected 
at B, which lies on the surface, F B G, which separates the 
denser medium (cooler air) above from the rarer (warmer air) 
below ; and these reflected rays, entering the observer's eye at 
C, in the direction B C, cause him to see the reflection of A 
at D. Thus if there is a line of mountains near A, these 
will appear as though reflected in the surface of this layer of 
warmer air, and the layer itself will perfectly simulate the 
appearance of water, the reflections following its every move- 
ment, just as they do the waves and ripples with which the 
surface of real water is troubled. 




To Count Romford, and Dr. Joule, of Manchester, we owe 
the knowledge that the energy due to the motion gained by 
i lb. of water falling 777 feet, if all turned into heat, and 
applied to the 1 lb. of water, would heat it i° Fahrenheit, or 
|ths of a degree Centigrade. 

Now the Canadian Falls are 162 feet high, and if the energy 
of motion gained by the water in its descent through this 
vertical distance were all turned to heat, and all the heat were 
used to heat the water, the river would be not quite -J-th of a 
degree Centigrade warmer below the Fall than it is above it. 
As a matter of fact some of the energy is spent in pulverising 
the water, some in producing the sound of the Falls, so that 
the rise of temperature due to this cause could not be quite so 
great ; moreover, heat is used up in evaporation, and the 
energy of motion is partly expended in overcoming the resist- 
ance of the air, and in setting it in motion to form the furious 
blasts of wind always blowing near the descending waters, so 
that the difference of temperature, taken as recorded, cannot 
possibly be accounted for in this way; and I am unable at 
present to offer any explanation of my observation except that 
possibly there may be some springs of warmer water along the 
base of the precipice over which the St. Lawrence falls, which, 
mixing with the newly fallen waters, raise their temperature. 
In the midst of so much fine mist one would suppose that 
there would be scarcely any evaporation from the liquid on 
the thermometer. 1 I can only repeat that my great surprise at 
the thermometer's readings made me verify them very care- 
fully. The instrument placed in the torrent forming the 
stream was certainly more than a whole degree Centigrade 
colder than it was in the stream the torrent formed after fall- 
ing. It was totally immersed in both, and gave the same 
results as before, when enclosed for some minutes wet in its 
narrow air-tight metal case. In the latter case evaporation 
could not, so far as I can see, possibly have affected it. 

1 It must be borne in mind that this is not a comparison of the tempera- 
ture of the water above and below the Fall. All the readings were taken 
at the base of the cataract. 




So many photograph nowadays, that possibly a word or two 
on the methods which have enabled me to bring home my 
negatives and develop them all in England successfully may 
not be out of place. The plates used were Edwards' isochro- 
matic medium and instantaneous. Where a good result 
depends upon the rendering in monochrome of the compara- 
tive brightness of colours, such as green, yellow, orange and 
red — which is very often the case in Yellowstone Park and in 
Colorado — yellow screens were employed. These cut off 
much blue light, and give time to the other colours to impress 
the plate. Of course the exposure is increased. For instan- 
taneous views of Niagara and the Geysers, where it was 
desirable to catch the forms of rapidly moving masses of 
spray, the Thornton Pickard focal plane shutter is invaluable, 
and experience proves that exposures of 5-J-oth of a second, 
with a stop of f /s, are quite long enough to yield good pictures 
of these light-coloured subjects in the brilliant sunshine which 
is so continuously met with ; and in scenes like the canons 
and forests, and any, in fact, in which the look of distance is 
necessary to give any idea of real size, stereoscopic views are 
a great advantage, though the 3 J- X 3} inch size of each picture 
is not an artistic shape. Some little time ago the author redis- 
covered J a simple way of viewing them in stereoscopic reliei 
on the screen as large as life. Seen thus, the effect is astonish 
ingly realistic. 

The safest way to carry glass plates seems to be to pack 
them tightly in pairs, film to film, with nothing between, and 
to wrap up the boxes in oilskin and tie them firmly round. 
Films present many obvious advantages, but the author holds 
that if the photographer be anxious to secure the very best 
results he must use glass plates properly backed. He is 
accustomed to enlarge his quarter-plate negatives to 25 x 21 
inches, and, if considered desirable, can secure a picture as 
large as this sharp all over. He would like to add that a pale 
yellow screen is invaluable for taking panoramic views from 
mountain tops, especially if there be any haze, and is also use- 

1 The author has learnt that Sir Howard Grubb first discovered the 
method— which gives the effect of solidity by means of a rotating slotted disc. 


ful in conjunction with an isochromatic plate for views deficient 
in contrast, also on cloudy days and after sunset, though not 
for the sunset sky (over the west) itself. 

With the exception of a small book by Professor Piazzi 
Smythe describing his experiences when camping in the 
Canadas of Tenerife, the author believes this is the only 
book in which the illustrations have been published stereo- 
scopically. He hopes the result may be sufficiently satisfac- 
tory to stimulate the interest taken in this charming branch ot 



Bunsen was the first to explain their action, and made it 
possible for Tyndall to construct a model which imitates, to 
some extent, a geyser. The temperature at which water boils 
depends mainly on the pressure to which it is subjected. Under 
ordinary circumstances this is always about fifteen pounds to the 
square inch, which is the force with which the air presses on 
it ; consequently, we are accustomed to say that the boiling- 
point is 2i2° F., 8o° R., or ioo° C, according to the scale of 
the thermometer used. But if the pressure on the water is 
increased, the boiling-point is raised, i.e. the water must be 
heated to a higher temperature before it will boil ; and if it be 
lowered, ebullition will occur at a lower temperature. 

If a deep boring be made into the ground, and the tempera- 
ture be taken at different depths, numerous experiments prove 
that for the first sixty feet, in ordinary circumstances, it is variable, 
depending on the season of the year; at about sixty feet the effect 
of the summer's heat and winter's cold is no longer felt, and 
the temperature is the same all the year round. Below this it 
rises, in England, i° F. for every fifty feet you descend; but this 
amount varies in different countries, and the most rapid rise is 
recorded in volcanic districts, like that of Yellowstone Park, or 
Naples. But in no case has a more rapid rise been observed 
than that of i° F. for every fifteen feet, or i° C. for every twenty- 
seven feet (about). Imagine, then, a long column of water in a 
shaft which descends into the earth ; the temperature of the 
water in the shaft will rise as its depth increases. If the liquid 
is free to circulate, since water expands, growing specifically 


lighter as it is heated, the warmer water from below will be 
constantly rising next the hot walls of the tube, whilst the cooler 
waters from above will sink down the central line of the shaft 
in a convection current, which evidently tends to distribute the 
heat ; and if all the water were thus maintained at one tempera- 
ture, if it boiled at all, it would only be near the surface, where 
the pressure is obviously least. But suppose that, for some 
reason (e.g. the friction which tends to stop the flow of water 
in a narrow tube, or a slant of the tube, which would greatly 
slacken the pace at which the water ascended as it would also 
slacken the rate at which the temperature rises), the water could 
not circulate sufficiently fast to distribute the heat equally, the 
temperature would gradually increase with the depth, until, if the 
liquid could scarcely move at all, it would not be very different 
from the temperature of the earth at the same depth. Now 
suppose this state of things is reached, and further, that the 
temperature of the water at any depth is such that it is only the 
pressure of the liquid above it which keeps it from boiling, then, 
if, as Bunsen supposes, a sudden generation of steam from 
below lifts the whole column of water up, making some of it 
overflow at the top, and so removing part of the pressure, every 
layer of water thus raised will burst into steam, and the expan- 
sion will throw the water, in the very act of boiling, out of the 
tube, causing an eruption such as one sees. 

So far, all seems well explained ; it is only when one examines 
the theory and the geysers themselves carefully, that the great 
difficulties in accepting it in this form are seen. Others have 
suggested modifications of Bunsen's theory to account for the 
diverse behaviour of different geysers. These are briefly stated 
on page 166 of Captain Chittenden's very interesting book on 
the Yellowstone Park ; but the writer feels that there is a good 
deal more to be said, and hopes that what follows, if it does 
not seem conclusive, will at least stimulate fresh thought, 
observation, and, above all, experiment. He takes " Old 
Faithful " as the best known geyser, in order that what he 
has to say may be made more definite, and perhaps easier to 
understand. Actual measurements show that the average out- 
pour of this splendid fountain in a single eruption is not less 
than 1,500,000 gallons: i.e., this quantity of water is poured 
out on to the terraces surrounding the crater, and is not avail- 
able for a second outburst. As one gallon equals a little more 
than 277 cubic inches, this gives for the volume of water 
ejected, 240,450 cubic feet. Now this passes through the 


geyser's mouth, which is six feet long by two feet wide (i.e., 
twelve square feet in area), in four and a half minutes, or 270 
seconds. Thus, its average velocity, or rate of flow, measured 
at the mouth of the geyser, during the four and a half minutes 
of eruption, must be 74J feet per second (about 50^ miles an 
hour), and from this can be easily calculated the mean height 
to which the fountain should rise if all its water were projected 
with equal force ; this turns out to be almost exactly eighty-six 
feet, which tallies well with observations. 

Now " Old Faithful " rests sixty-five minutes between one 
eruption and the next, and it is not unreasonable to suppose 
that during that time the underground streams are accumulating 
the material for the next eruption ; and to give a definite idea 
of what the total magnitude of the water supply must be, you 
have only to think of a stream six feet wide, two feet deep, 
flowing steadily all through the sixty-five minutes at the very 
considerable rate of a little over 5^ feet per second. Now the 
tube of the geyser is not left empty after the eruption, and this 
is a most important point ; the water, it is true, sinks a few feet 
in the crater, giving visitors a peep at the beautiful formation 
with which the tube is lined, but in a very few minutes it begins 
to rise slowly, crawling up inch by inch, till once again the 
crater is full, and that, too, with very hot water. If the under- 
ground river is flowing all through the period of rest, how do 
you explain the facts that (1) the tube is filled manifestly with 
new water directly after an eruption, and (2) then only rises a 
few inches in an hour ? If it is steam from the bottom of the 
tube that lifts the water up and makes the eruption begin, why 
is the tube not emptied to its depths ? and the same question 
may be asked without, so far as the author can see, a satis- 
factory answer from either Mackenzie's, Comstock's, or Baring 
Gould's theories. They all of them either empty the tube, 
which Nature does not do, or fail to explain how the supply of 
colder water is laid on in such a way as not to interfere with 
the super-heating of the water in the tube, necessary for the 
fulfilment of Bunsen's theory. It seems, in fact, impossible 
that the water supply should be acting to refill the tube, except 
during the eruption itself Hence, if the stream be indeed 
continuous — and it is very difficult to imagine it is not so — it 
must be filling some cavity other than the tube during the 
quiescent period, and it is the water flowing from this second 
cavity into the tube which is the cause of the eruption of water, 
whether Bunsen's theory comes into play to make that eruption 



explosive or not. 1 Since this flow nearly fills the tube afresh, 
during the eruption, the rate of flow of the water from this 
second cavity into the tube must be very nearly equal to the 
rate of flow of water from the geyser. Thus we are forced to 
the conclusion that in Old Faithful's case, and in all other 
cases in which the geyser tube is left almost full after an erup- 
tion, in spite of a great volume of water expelled, the eruption 
is that of an intermittent, deep-seated spring, its violent character 
being caused by the sudden boiling of super-heated water, 
carried by the cistern's overflow up the geyser tube to places 
where the pressure is not high enough to prevent the water 
from boiling. The hotter water, being lighter than the cooler, 
remains at the top, whilst the colder water, flowing in from 
below, raises it, forcing it upwards, as a piston would. 

Suppose abedef (Fig. 1) represents the geyser tube directly 
after an eruption (of Old Faithful's kind), and let us assume 


that equilibrium has been established by the fall of the water 
in the " outcrop " tube d efto the level of the geyser's mouth a. 
If the rise of temperature with increase in depth below the 
earth's surface is fairly rapid, the water in the tube will be most 
rapidly heated at b and d, and the steam rising from b will 
rapidly heat all the water in the parts of the tube a b, b c. The 
temperature of the water in the tube between d and e will not 
be raised nearly so rapidly, because (1) the total cross-section 
of the tube or tubes which constitute this part of the geyser 
tube is probably greater than the corresponding cross-sections 
at any other part of the tube; and (2) because cold water is 
continually flowing into this part of the tube, and sinking to 
the lowest part d, or, at any rate, tending to do so, by virtue 

1 It is most improbable that the second cavity's filling or emptying should 
be accurately timed to the eruption from the tube, if the latter is caused by 
some action such as Bunsen's theory would indicate, which does not apply 
to the water in the second cavity. 



of the fact that cold water is heavier than hot; and (3) because 
d may well be much higher than b. Thus after a time steam 
will collect in the upper part of the bend at c, whilst it will 
either be condensed in the longer column of water between 
b and a, or rising through the whole length of the column b a, 
will quietly escape through the boiling water, as indeed it may 
be seen to do in many instances to be found in the Park. 
Meanwhile the upper layers of the water in c d will have been 
raised by the steam rising in b c to the temperature of the steam 
itself; but the rest of the water in c d will not be nearly so hot, 
first because the cold water constantly flowing into e d prevents 
the formation of steam at d, if not entirely, at least to anything 
like the extent to which it is formed at b, and secondly, the 
very poor thermal conductivity of water would make the effect 
of the hot upper layer g h negligible, so far as its heating effect 
on the layers below it is concerned. 

During this first part of the action we have, therefore, the 
steam formed in b c trapped at c, part of it condensed by the 
cooler water between c and d, a condensing action which will 
be continued for some time after steam has begun to collect 
at c, and which will make the level of the water between c and d 
higher than the level of the water between b and c — k in the 
figure. All this time fresh water has been flowing into the part 
of the tube fed, but by the well-known principles of Hydro- 
statics, the water and steam in the geyser tube will be in 
equilibrium, so long as the difference of level of the water in 
the tube's branches a b, b c, is equal to the difference of level 
of the water in the two branches c d, df, i.e., so long as w x (in 
the figure) is equal to y z (this obviously neglects the effect of 
the different relative densities of the water in the different 
branches of the tube : the correction to be made when this is 
considered is, that equilibrium will be maintained when the 
difference of level y z is rather less than w x). What happens 
next must depend on the conditions which obtain in each 
particular geyser ; on the rate of inflow of fresh and cold water, 
on the dimensions and slope of the tubes, on the rate at which 
heat is communicated to their various parts, conditions which 
no doubt occur in endless variety; but whatever these may be, 
sooner or later there will come an explosive eruption, as the 
following considerations will make evident. Suppose that when 
the trapped steam ceases to condense in the part of the tube 
c d, the levels are those drawn in the figure, since the water 
between, at g, is practically at the temperature of the trapped 


steam, it is evident that if a fresh portion of the water between 
b and k is turned into steam, the increased pressure in k c g 
must tend to lower the level of the liquid on both sides of c, 
in reality a little of this fresh steam will condense at g since, 
unlike the water at k, the temperature of g has not been raised 
along with the pressure of the steam ; and since the water has 
been taken from b k to form the steam, and not from g d, and 
also because the water in h d e is not so dense as that in a b k, 
the level at k will sink rather faster than at g, besides the fact 
that the growing head of water in ef tends to maintain equili- 
brium under the growing steam pressure in the steam-trap, 
without making any change of level of the water at g necessary, 
and may in some cases actually do so. Thus the water-level 
in b c sinks, whilst water either gently rises, or overflows at a, 
the difference of the pressure at a and k (wherever k may be) 
remaining the same as the difference of pressure between g 
and y (both g and y gradually changing). 

Suppose that the level of k sinks to /, after this has happened 
any steam generated at b will escape at a (unless condensed on 
the way), and the level of the water in the geyser throat will 
sink as the water in the tube a b boils away ; but all the time 
the head of water in / e d is increasing, and the cool water in 
h d is creeping up towards c : presently it reaches the top of 
the bend, and begins to overflow at o, slowly at first, perhaps 
with more or less violent ebullition, as it comes into contact 
with the sides of the tube between and /, which have for 
some time been out of contact with liquid water, and may 
consequently have risen to a very high temperature. Such 
explosive generation of steam will cause violent pulsations in 
the water at the mouth of the geyser, and may well bring about 
Bunsen boiling, and a very rapid fall of pressure in a b and 
therefore in b c, causing a full eruption of the geyser ; but even 
if not, the ever accumulating waters in c/will cause a con- 
tinually increasing stream of cooler and cooler water to flow 
over at till this cooler water either gradually or suddenly 
condenses the last steam in c I ; for a moment, in the latter 
case, the water in the geyser throat may be pressed down the 
tube some distance by atmospheric pressure, but only momen- 
tarily j for the waters in e/are no longer balanced, they drive 
the waters in d c fast before them, liquid continuity is re- 
established throughout the tube, the contents of a b are 
violently raised by the water piston, and an eruption occurs, 
not ending completely, till the state of things with which we 


supposed the cycle of operations to begin has again come about, 
and the mouth of the geyser is left full of water once more. 

If the beginning of the eruption of the geyser is to be looked 
upon as due to a sudden evolution of steam raising the water 
in a b, and so producing Bunsen boiling, we may explain the 
generation of this steam either as above, or thus : It is well 
known that if water is spilt upon a surface which is heated 
considerably above the boiling-point it does not burst into 
steam at once, but evaporates quietly, and that it is easier to 
perform this experiment with hot water than with cold. When, 
however, the temperature of the surface is lowered, and the 
cushion of steam which before separated the water from the 
hot surface is condensed, so that the water comes into actual 
contact with the surface — the latter being still very hot — a 
sudden burst of steam is the result, which may exert enormous 
pressure if the quantity of water and the extent of surface next 
it are considerable, and if the space in which the action occurs 
is closely confined. 

To return to the diagram of the geyser tube : the first drib- 
lets of hot water running over at o, on to the sides of the 
branch c b, possibly intensely heated, might easily pass into 
this so-called " spheroidal " state, and this water might lodge 
on its way down to / in cavities and hollows in the lower sur- 
face of the tube ; before long there must come a time when 
the temperature of the rock under these evaporating pools is 
reduced to a point when the supply of heat is insufficient to 
maintain the formation of the cushion of steam necessary to 
keep the hot water from coming into actual contact with the 
rock itself. Perhaps this may happen soon after the water 
begins to dribble over at o, perhaps not until the tube b c is 
very nearly full of liquid, but whenever it does happen, if it 
happens at all, there will be a sudden explosive generation 
of steam, which will drive the waters violently down both c b 
and c d ; the head of water in df will doubtless be raised some- 
what, but the steam will not in general be able to overcome 
the resistance in this direction, owing to the height of the out- 
crop, if not from its nature, which is almost certainly of a kind 
to resist any very sudden passage of water, though it allows 
fairly rapid percolation, and also the rapid passage of air. 
On the side cba the steam meets with a far less powerful 
resistance, and gives that upward lift to the waters in the 
branch a b which is just what is required to bring about 
Bunsen boiling and an eruption ; the head of water in df, 



increased by the explosion of the water in the spheroidal state 
into steam, reasserts its supremacy, the level of g rises 
rapidly to c, liquid continuity is set up afresh in the branches 
of the geyser tube, and finally the geyser throat is left full, or 
very nearly so, when the eruption is finished. 

It will be seen that the level of the water in the outcrop 
tubes (on the right in Fig. 1) must be above a when the 
eruption begins, but since all the geysers I have seen lie along 
the bottoms of valleys copiously supplied with water (in the 

ln ^fierv i»i*> 

Fi g. 3- 

case of the Yellowstone Park by the thick woods with which 
the hills on both sides are covered), neither this, nor the 
quantity of water required, seem to be difficulties. The shape 
of the outcrop tubes, as drawn, is also of a kind likely to occur 
in the spaces between tipped up strata, which frequently 
follow the lines of a basin, giving rise under certain circum- 
stances to artesian springs ; and it seems far from unlikely that 
some of the boiling springs are in fact artesian wells of great 
depth, whose borings through the upper impervious soil (vide 
Fig. 2.) have been made by the expansive force of steam gene- 


rated beneath from water which has filtered down from the 
hills between two layers of impervious soil, and there has been 
heated by the earth's internal fires till the tension became so 
great that, unable to find any natural vent, it burst a way 
through the hard roof of its long, shallow chamber, up which 
the heated waters rushed impetuously into the open air. In 
any case the silica, soluble in hot water only under great 
pressure, is deposited on the sides of the geyser pipe near the 
earth's surface, where the pressure is less, and probably for a 
hundred feet or more below, and this deposit prevents the 
waters from escaping laterally and from mixing with other 
waters in neighbouring outlets. Fig. 2 gives a section of the 
formation necessary for the artesian well, the permeable soil 
being shaded, and the impervious above and below it left 
blank. Now suppose that the subterranean forces produce 
local upheavals of the strata : we thus naturally pass to Fig. 3, 
where we see the same arrangement of soils, but waved in 
form, the exit pipe of the spring rising where there is least 
resistance, i.e., from the highest point of the highest bend. 
From this to the arrangement sketched in Figs. 4 and 5 is an 
easy transition, needing only a "fault" to displace the strata 
vertically, but more over one part of the basin than the other, 
and in Figure 5 denudation has planed off the surface, the 
slight rise about a being in most cases due to the silica 
deposited by the geyser itself. It is clear that if the waved 
geyser tube does not pass through a region hot enough to 
cause the formation of steam, the curves would make no 
difference to the character of the spring at a, which would be 
an ordinary artesian of more or less hot water flowing con- 
stantly ; but if steam is formed in the geyser tube we shall 
have the condition of things already discussed. Bunsen boil- 
ing may come into action, but there is no need for it ; at any 
rate the eruption need not be started by Bunsen boiling, and 
so one great difficulty is removed, for in the case of " Old 
Faithful," if his tube be of the same cross-section throughout 
as it is at the crater {i.e., 1 2 square feet), it must be no less 
than 15,200 feet long — a length nearly equal to the height ot 
Mont Blanc ; and if Bunsen's theory is to be applicable, the 
tube must be at all events so narrow that the water is not free 
to circulate. If, however, the explanation just given be correct, 
the tube need not be narrow, nor need it descend to any very 
great depth. 

The difficulty of accepting Bunsen's theory as the complete 


explanation of the action of the geysers is still further seen if 
we examine more carefully the rate at which the boiling-point 
of water rises when the pressure increases uniformly. This is 
shown graphically in the illustration, Fig. 6, by the curved 
line ABCDE, the points on which are found by plotting 
depths in feet along the horizontal, and the boiling-points of 
water at the corresponding depths along the vertical. 

Thus the point C is on the curve, because at 750 feet depth 
below the surface of the water in the geyser pipe the tempera- 
ture to which water must be raised to make it boil has been 
ascertained by experiment to be 217 . Singularly, D shows 
that at 1,000 feet depth the temperature must be 234 C, and 
so on. This diagram tacitly assumes (1) that the temperature 
of the earth at the surface of the ground is at the boiling-point 
of the water there — i.e., 92*2° C. — which is the most favourable 
supposition for Bunsen's theory possible ; and (2) that the 
pressure increases directly as the depth, i.e., it neglects (a) the 
effect of the expansion of the water by heat, which would 
diminish its density, and (b) the compression of the water 
produced by the weight of the superincumbent water, which 
would increase its density, but not so much as the heat effect 
diminishes it. If corrections were made for (a) and (b), 
the effect might well be to make the curve a little flatter, 
i.e., at considerable depths the boiling-point of water would 
be a little lower than it would otherwise be. Now consider 
the straight lines on the same figure : that which cuts the curve 
at B is a line representing a temperature of i° C for every 
5 feet of depth — a rise far greater than has ever been observed, 
even in volcanic districts ; the next to the right stands for a rise 
of i° C. in every 15 feet ; and the next to the right again for 
i° F. in every 15 feet (or i° C. in every 27) — still a very rapid 
rise, but one which is still above the rates of rise met with in 
Nature. Now the first of these lines shows that down to a 
depth of about 500 feet the temperature necessary to make the 
water boil at any particular depth will be greater than the 
temperature of the earth at that depth; at 500 feet below the 
surface the temperature of the earth will just be able to make 
the water boil under the pressure at that depth ; and every 
where below 500 feet the temperature of the earth will be 
above the temperature necessary to make the water boil, the 
difference between the two temperatures rapidly increasing 
with the depth ; so that it is evident that if there is little or no 
influx of colder water from beneath, steam will be very rapidly 

2 3 8 


generated at depths below 500 feet, and the conditions will be 
favourable for an eruption of the Bunsen type, the cooler 
water in the upper part of the tube being expelled first, about 
one-fifth of it turning into steam, and then the more highly 
heated water from the lower part of the tube, a much greater 
proportion of which will become steam on emerging. So that 
the eruption will begin with a fountain of boiling water, and 
end, if the tube be deep, with a mixture of steam and water, 
of which the former may preponderate, and the tube will be 
left almost or quite empty, unless the ejected water is caught 

in a basin round the crater, and so flows back into the geyser's 
mouth as soon as the emission of steam which closes the 
eruption has sufficiently subsided to permit of its re-entrance. 
In this latter case the tube might be left (say) two-thirds full, 
or perhaps more. But there must be a supply of water to 
make up for what is wasted in steam, and the difficult point to 
settle is, how this enters so as not to interfere with the super- 
heating. Once more one is driven to suppose that as the 
geyser tube fills up from below, the pressure of the accumu- 
lated water chokes off the supply ; that a stationary period 
follows, during which the heating goes on, resulting in an 


eruption of the Bunsen type. This may serve for the expla- 
nation of geysers like the " Minute Man," the " Economic," 
the "Vixen," and others; but the explanation totally fails 
where the quantity of water ejected is very great, and in spite 
of this the tube is left full, as in " Old Faithful's " case. It 
must be carefully remembered, too, that the rise of i° C. in 
5 feet postulated is not to be considered at all likely to occur. 
If we turn to a more probable rise, but still one which has 
never been verified, such as i° C in 27 feet, 1 the difficulty of 
accepting Bunsen's theory to account for even small geysers 
like the above seems much greater ; for a glance at the illus- 
tration, Fig. 6, will show that the earth temperature line corre- 
sponding to this rise will not cut the water curve until the depth 
is at least 4,000 or 5,000 feet : so that if there is no circulation 
of the water in the tube at all, the temperature will not rise 
high enough anywhere in the first 5,000 feet for the water to 
boil j and we can hardly imagine that such toy fountains as 
the above-mentioned geysers are played from tubes of such a 
length as 5,000 feet, or even of 1,000, so that even these cases, 
which have been considered as the most perfect examples of 
Bunsen's theory, demand (if that theory is to be maintained) 
a rate of rise of temperature, far more rapid than any yet 
observed, if " the sudden generation of steam near the bottom 
of the tube " is to lift the heated column of water. If the tube 
is supposed wide enough to allow the circulation of the heated 
waters from below, the explanation might at first sight seem 
easier ; for we can imagine masses of water (not steam) rising 
to places where the pressure might not be sufficient to keep 
them from bursting into steam, and that, too, with increasing 
energy, as all the water grows hotter until a sudden and ex- 
plosive ebullition raises the water above, and a "Bunsen" 
eruption follows. But this demands free circulation for the 
water, for referring to the diagram again, and taking the rise of 
temperature as i° C. in 15 feet (a very rapid rise, though 
perhaps not impossible in a region such as Yellowstone Park), 
we see that if the geyser tube was (say) 600 feet deep, the 
water at the bottom would be presumably at 132 C. Now 
suppose this water rose, by virtue of its being lighter, losing 
on its way (say) io° C, in warming water it met with, it would 
be ready to burst into steam (at least about one-fifth of it 
would) at about fifty feet below the surface, which the boiling 
point curve shows is the depth at which water would boil at 
1 Judd gives i° C. in 36 feet the maximum rate of rise yet found. 


122° C. But it is evident that for masses of water to rise 
from 600 feet to 50 feet, i.e., 550 feet, through cooler 
water (the water at 50 feet depth would be rather above 
96 C, but of course could not be above 122 C), and 
only cool by io° C, demands almost free circulation for 
the water. In parting with some of its heat on its upward 
course, it would shrink, and so lose some of its buoyancy ; 
but the most serious objection to this explanation is, that even 
if the temperature rises by as much as i° C. in every 15 feet 
depth, the density of water must alter so very slowly from 
point to point that the currents started by this alteration must 
be exceedingly slow ; and we are practically driven back to the 
conclusion that if Bunsen's theory is to apply at all, steam 
must be the agent which warms the water in the tube and lifts 
the super-heated column, and against this view we have already 
urged the two powerful objections of the great depth necessary 
for even the small geyser tubes (they would throw out much 
more water if their tubes were very long, or heated from a very 
great depth), and also the difficulty of assigning the time of 
supply, and the place where the supply enters the tube, so that 
it shall not interfere with the formation of steam. None of 
these difficulties remain if the " artesian spring " explanation 
suggested in this paper is accepted as correct. As before 
stated, the tube need not be narrow, it need not descend to 
any great depth. This theory also explains where the supply 
enters, the cause of the intermittency of eruption, and how it 
is that the geyser tube is left nearly full just after it has played. 
It allows ample time for the water to acquire its charge of 
siliceous matter, and moreover requires no special construction 
which is not already known to exist in nature in many places ; 
it does not demand any special point for the application of the 
heat, the rise of temperature everywhere beneath the surface 
is sufficient. It supplies a key both to the large number of 
geysers and their different characters, and explains why the 
birth of a geyser should be attended with an eruption of such 
terrific violence as to shake the whole region ; and it is 
adequate for the solution of such a problem as the Excelsior 
presents. Moreover the basin-like lie of the ground occupied 
by these splendid natural fountains, of which the very names 
of the districts are a constant reminder, is seen to be neces- 
sary for their existence. 1 

1 Read before the Physical Society of London, February 7, 1898. 





The following observations may interest physiologists. 
They were made with due care, on the summit of Pike's 
Peak, during the morning of September 7, 1897, by the author, 
on five men : A, B, C, D, and E. 

Temperature of sleeping room at 8.15 a.m., minus i° C. 

ture of 
body in 

degrees F. 




Pulse per 

Age of 




98-4° F. 

15 to 16 

126 to 127 


Has lived on the 
summit during the last 
5 days. 


97-4° F. 



20 and 30 

Has lived on the 
summit during the last 
6 days. Has suffered 
from asthma. 


98-6° F. 


78 to 79 


Has lived on the 
summit during the last 
7 days. 


97-8° F. 




Has lived here 14 
days, and "prefers the 
high altitude." 


97i° F. 




Has stayed here 
about 18 hours. 

The temperature of the body was ascertained by keeping a 
small medical registering thermometer under the tongue for 
not less than four consecutive minutes, with the mouth shut. 
The pulse was taken at the wrist. 

&§t (Sustain |)r*S8, 













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